Priorities: ‘Liberal’ media aired Bush’s stem cell speech, won’t air Obama’s on immigration

20 Nov
George W. Bush speaks to CBS News (screen grab)

George W. Bush speaks to CBS News (screen grab)

 

The mainstream media certainly has its priorities in order. Tonight, when President Obama announces his new plan for immigration reform, you can be sure that the networks will be airing totally ignoring the speech on one of the most pressing and relevant issues facing not only the country but the world. That’s right, ladies and gentleman ABC, CBS. NBC and Fox (duh) have said they won’t be covering the speech live.

In all fairness, this makes sense. After all, why should the networks cover this issue when it is soooo stale? It’s so ten years ago. Or eight years ago, to be precise. All four networks covered President Bush’s 2006 speech on immigration. So why should they cover another speech on the same issue? I mean the president’s have totally different policies and the context is pretty different. But, still, what’s the new angle? I don’t see one. Do you? Bush announced  he was sending National Guard troops to protect the U.S./Mexico border. Obama will announce an executive order that will grant legal status and work permits for as many as 5 million people. When you strip away the political jargon, aren’t the two policies  identical to each other?

Continue reading at RawStory

Don Lemon’s 14-second apology: Sorry for asking rape victim why she didn’t bite off Bill Cosby’s dick

19 Nov

CNN anchor Don Lemon 021114 [YouTube]

CNN anchor Don Lemon 021114 [YouTube]

UPDATE: Right After I published the post below, Don Lemon went on TV to apologize for his question: “As I am a victim myself I would never want to suggest that any victim could have prevented a rape. If my question to her struck anyone as insensitive, I’m sorry as that certainly was not my intention.”

The apology was so thoughtful and heartfelt, it took all of 14 seconds. 

CNN host Don Lemon is being mocked and criticized, and rightly so, for his incredibly victim-blaming interview of a woman who said she was raped by Bill Cosby. What makes Lemon’s insensitivity and inappropriateness even more disturbing is the fact that he himself is the survivor of sexual abuse.

Read the rest of this article at RawStory

Behold, the ‘Sanctity of Marriage’: Charles Manson granted right to wed

18 Nov
via wikipedia

via wikipedia

We all know that the sanctity of marriage, the very foundation of civilization, is under attack from the gays who want to pervert the sacred institution by engaging in a devious and hedonistic relationship built on monogamy, stability and permanence.  Each and every heterosexual marriage is an act of resistance and valor, a battle in the war to keep this great nation from the hell that awaits us once we allow male on male bridal registry. While every marrying or married heterosexual person can do their part, I would be naive to pretend that certain marriages don’t help the cause more than others. The marriage of an anonymous couple who nobody knows about is helpful of course, but the marriage of well known people is extremely valuable because it makes that much more of a statement. It has morality, righteousness, god and star power behind it.

Continue reading at RawStory

‘Orange Is the New Black’ actress remembers coming home from school to learn that her family had been deported

18 Nov

Originally posted on Feministing

Actress Diane Guerrero experienced our draconian immigration policies first-hand when she was 14 years old, and came home from school to an empty house. Hours later she would find out her family had been taken to a detention center and would be deported. Guerrero is using her voice to speak out for humane, fair, and sensible immigration reform.

Guerrero is best known for her roles in shows like Orange is the New Black and Jane the Virgin. But she is also an advocate for undocumented people and their families and volunteers with the Immigrant Legal Resource Center. This past weekend Guerrero penned an op-ed for the LA Times about her experience with our broken immigration system. While Guerrero was born in New Jersey and thus a legal citizen, her parents and older brother had immigrated from Colombia. She writes,

Throughout my childhood I watched my parents try to become legal but to no avail. They lost their money to people they believed to be attorneys, but who ultimately never helped. That meant my childhood was haunted by the fear that they would be deported. If I didn’t see anyone when I walked in the door after school, I panicked.

And then one day, my fears were realized. I came home from school to an empty house. Lights were on and dinner had been started, but my family wasn’t there. Neighbors broke the news that my parents had been taken away by immigration officers, and just like that, my stable family life was over.

Not a single person at any level of government took any note of me. No one checked to see if I had a place to live or food to eat, and at 14, I found myself basically on my own.

Guerrero uses her painful experience to push for reforms that are not only just, but in the best interest of legal citizens:

[I]t’s not just in the interest of immigrants to fix the system: It’s in the interest of all Americans. Children who grow up separated from their families often end up in foster care, or worse, in the juvenile justice system despite having parents who love them and would like to be able to care for them.

I don’t believe it reflects our values as a country to separate children and parents in this way. Nor does it reflect our values to hold people in detention without access to good legal representation or a fair shot in a court of law. President Obama has promised to act on providing deportation relief for families across the country, and I would urge him to do so quickly. Keeping families together is a core American value.

Congress needs to provide a permanent, fair legislative solution, but in the meantime families are being destroyed every day, and the president should do everything in his power to provide the broadest relief possible now. Not one more family should be separated by deportation.

While her piece was eloquent and moving, it was her television appearance on Monday that caught people’s attention and made the headlines. During a CNN interview with Michaela Pereira, Guerrero spoke from the heart and off the cuff and broke into tears, saying, “We’ve been separated for so long, I feel like sometimes we don’t know each othe… I’ve grown up without them. There are things about them that I don’t recognize. I know that I’ve been by myself, but I feel like they have lived a very lonely existence themselves.”

See the transcript in this article and watch the video above.

See more of my posts at Feministing

Jewmentia: Jewish Bill Maher can’t figure out why people think he’s Jewish

17 Nov

Bill Maher in panel discussion on 'Real Time' 092614 <!--YouTube Error: bad URL entered-->

Bill Maher in panel discussion on ‘Real Time’ 092614 [youtube]

Originally posted on RawStory

I’m not an Orthodox Jew who stands on street corners playing “spot the Jew” in an attempt to bring secular Jewish people back into the religious fold. I’m the secular Jew. I don’t go to synagogue, I don’t pray, I don’t believe. I don’t ascribe to the idea that you’re not Jewish unless your mother is. My cousins–my mother’s brother’s daughters–have a mother, my Aunt Sarah Doolittle, who has a Christian background, but they are Jews, or half Jews, despite what certain religious Jews say. They’re also half other. Intermarriage in my family isn’t only tolerated, it’s encouraged. So I don’t tend to tell other people if they are or are not Jewish. (My own test, personally, is “are you Jewish enough for Hitler?” If the answer is yes, you’re Jewish.) But sometimes you have to help a Jewish brother, or half brother, out. On Friday’s very funny episode of HBO’s Real Time with Bill Maher, Bill and one of his guests, Martin Short, reflected on how much they had in common. Reading Short’s new book, I Must Say: My Life as Humble Comedy Legend, Bill had discovered that that both had fathers who didn’t eat dinner with the family (Maher’s father was working and Short’s father was there but at a separate table in the same room!). Both spent time as kids imagining that they had their own TV show (though Short’s show was every other week so he could balance his movie career). And, as Maher explained, “the third thing I think we have in common is that people think we’re Jewish and we’re not. We were both raised Catholic.” I waited for Maher to say something along the lines of, “I mean my mother’s Jewish but I wasn’t raised Jewish.” Because, though he was, indeed raised Catholic, his mother, Julie Berman, was born and raised Jewish. But Maher didn’t mention any of that. Instead, the conversation went on as follows:

Short: I had a lot of Jewish friends. All my friends were Jewish. Maher: Sure we know Jews. We’re not disowning the Jews. Why do you think they think we’re Jewish? Short: Cuz I think we’re thrifty… I don’t know. Why do people think you’re Jewish? Maher: The nose, my nose. I think it’s the nose. I think they think my nose is Jewish. They do. I’m funny and I have a big nose. Short: My nose isn’t like a pug here. Maher: But you don’t have a Jew nose like me.

When discussing the way people assume you belong to a group to which you do not belong, the fact that one of your two parents belonged to said group is kind of relevant. I don’t care whether Maher defines himself as a Jew or not. But I don’t understand why he thinks it’s peculiar that people think he’s a Jew. When people tell Bill Maher, or anyone, “I thought you were Jewish,” they are not saying, “I thought you were Jewish because you have such an air of Talmudic authority” or “You have to be Jewish! You totally give off that ‘I know the Torah like the back of my hand’ vibe.” It has nothing to do with the religion in which the suspected Jew is raised. They mean, “you look, talk and/or act in a way that I perceive as Jewish.”

OK, in interviews and on another Real Time episode, Bill explains that in his Catholic home, he didn’t learn until he was in his teens that his mother was Jewish. But clearly, without his awareness, something rubbed off. One of the benefits of being a Jew is that I can say the following without being labeled an anti-Semite (though I am often labeled a self-loathing Jew): Bill, you look and sound Jewy. The way you move your hands, “Jewsticulate,” especially when they’re up by your face– Jewy. The nose–Jewy. By all means, identify however you want. But why the how-silly laugh that your nose is taken for Jewish? It is Jewish. Your mother’s Jewish background doesn’t define you. But your mother’s Jewish nose. like it or not, is with you for life. Unless, of course, you go through that Jewish rite of passage that is rhinoplasty, AKA a nose job. Though I’m in no way considering that you do that because I love the schnoz. And you should, too. Embrace the schnoz!

Discussion begins at 1:48. 

 

Hitler reacts to rapper Nicki Minaj’s real-life Nazi-inspired music video

15 Nov
image via youtube

image via youtube

Originally posted on RawStory

Rapper Nicki Minaj is often in the headlines, but this is the first time she was accused of using Nazi symbols. The music video for her song Only does indeed include undeniably Nazi imagery. Of course that in itself is not a problem. The question isn’t the what, but rather the how. The film Sophie’s Choice, for instance, has Nazis (the what) in it. But the film’s sympathetic protagonist is victimized by the Nazis who are, appropriately, villified in the movie (the how). The documentary Triumph of the Will features Nazis (the what) as well. But in this propaganda film, the Nazis are exalted as heroes (the how). And therein lies the difference. It’s  amazing how people don’t understand that content is not the same thing as perspective.

Jeff Osborne, the extremely talented director, cinematographer, and editor who directed the Only music video says the video includes Nazi imagery but doesn’t endorse Nazism:

The reason I’m not apologizing is because neither I nor the video are anti-semitic. I can’t be sorry for something I’m being falsely accused of. The video represents Young Money as a generic totalitarian regime, which takes images and symbols from several countries and time periods, one of which is Nazism…

As far as applying Nazi imagery, 100% me. Whether it was interpreted that way to their team, I have no idea.  Not once did we ever sit in the same room, nor did they ask if I applied a deeper hidden meaning. I simply send them the video and they reject, approve, or ask for changes.

I made this creative decision to show the juxtaposition of the most iconic form of totalitarianism and ways it still exists today, specifically in politics, the military-industrial complex, censorship, and intense monitoring and tracking of our citizens.

The argument starts to fall apart here, though:

It has nothing to do with glorifying Hitler or the Holocaust. People think it’s trivializing the Holocaust because the song talks about sex, but I have no control over the lyrical content. I had an opportunity and an outlet, which I knew would reach millions of people, and wanted to make a statement. The term New World Order isn’t just an edgy pop culture reference. It is very real and was a term used by president George H.W. Bush, ironically 10 years to the day before 9/11.

I’m all for indicting Bush and exposing the way he and his pals were planning to “regime change” Iraq way before 9/11. But the lyrical content shapes a statement. Clearly Osborne’s message would have been undermined by lyrics praising George H.W. Bush.

Minaj, for her part, is playing dumb and playing the some of my best X are Y card. She tweeted:

Both the producer, & person in charge of over seeing the lyric video (one of my best friends & videographer: A. Loucas), happen to be Jewish. I didn’t come up w/the concept, but I’m very sorry & take full responsibility if it has offended anyone. I’d never condone Nazism in my art.”

Instead of getting into what Minaj thinks of Nazism, I thought it would be interesting to imagine how Hitler would respond to a music video featuring his sacred Nazi symbols as well as African Americans, and, even worse, a Black and Jewish American. The video above, which makes use of the very over-used Downfall meme*,  is what I came up with. Enjoy. And you can watch the video for Only below.

*Know Your Meme describes the Downfall meme:

also known as “Hitler Finds Out…” or “Hitler Reacts To…” is a series of parody-subtitled videos based on a pinnacle scene from Der Untergang (2004), a German WWII drama revisiting the last ten days of Adolf Hitler’s life and eventual suicide in his Berlin underground bunker. Due to the film’s international success and Bruno Ganz’ haunting portrayal of the Nazi dictator, numerous segments from the movie soon fell fodder to hilarious parodies on YouTube, spawning hundreds of anachronistically subtitled videos of Hitler getting upset over topical events and trivial gossip.

Sleeping Around Is Good for Your Health: 4 Interesting Things We Learned About Sex This Week

14 Nov

Another week brings another bunch of discoveries about sex. This week brings us break-throughs on the origin of the human penis. But don’t worry—we also bring you some penis-related news about sexual fantasies, porn addiction and the health benefits for men of having sex with more than 20 women.

1. Men finally have a cancer-based justification for sleeping with lots of women.

Good news, straight men! You no longer have to face societal shame and scorn for sleeping around—oh right. You don’t. That’s women. Sorry. Let’s try again. Good news, men! You are now even more sanctioned to sleep around with multiple women. A study from the University of Montreal has found that men who have slept with more than 20 women have a 28% lower risk of prostate cancer than men who have slept with only one woman. And male virgins have twice as much risk of prostate cancer as men who have had sex with many women. Unfortunately, gay men who want to justify having multiple partners (it’s not for me, it’s for my prostate) are out of luck. It turns out that among men who have sex with other men, there is an inverse relationship: those who have had sex with more than 20 people are twice as likely to get prostate cancer as men who have never slept with a man.

2. Penises! They’re just like limbs! Or tails!

Have you ever wondered why male mammals have one penis while snakes have two? A new study from Harvard Medical School’s Department of Genetics found that reptile genitalia come from the tissue that creates hind legs, so there are two penises, just like there would have been two legs, before they evolved. In mammals, the genitalia come from a tail bud, so there is one penis.
Continue reading

The conservative brain: loving Springsteen’s Born in the USA, hating Fortunate Son

14 Nov

download (2)

Originally posted on RawStory

I have something to say to every single conservative who has criticized Bruce Springsteen for singing Fortunate Son but said nothing about his performance of his own classic Born in the U.S.A.: thank you!

No, really, thank you. By “you,” I mean everyone, from The Weekly Standard’s Ethan Epstein to the random tweeter, who was outraged when Bruce Springsteen, Dave Grohl, and Zac Brown covered Creedence Clearwater Revival’s hit Fortunate Son during the Concert of Valor that took place Tuesday on the National Mall.  You see, you are wrong about Fortunate Son being an “inappropriate song.” As others, including Amanda Marcotte, have already explained, the song, which was written by John Fogerty, himself a vet of the Vietnam War, is not anti-soldier. It is anti-rich-politicians-sending-poor-people-to-die-kill-and-fight-their-wars-for-them. It is pro-soldier in that it wants soldiers to actually not be killed. Get it?

But the best part of your meltdown is that you said NOTHING about another song that Springsteen performed. The Boss actually wrote this one. And it’s called Born in the U.S.A. You see, if you think Born in the U.S.A. is unpatriotic, you’d be wrong, just like you’re wrong in your analysis of Fortunate Son. But you’d at least be consistent in that you would, once again, be confusing criticism of the government and elites with criticism of Americans.
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The Mormon church admits its founder had 40 wives

13 Nov
image via wikipedia

image via wikipedia

After 200 years of lying about it, the Mormon Church is finally admitting that its founder Joseph Smith had forty wives. If the Church can change its official line on the man they consider to be their prophet, they can surely update their sexist policy barring women from becoming priests.

To clarify, the news isn’t that Smith was polygamous, but rather that the Mormon Church, also known as the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints or LDS, officially admitted to Smith’s so called “plural marriage” in an essay it released on its website:

In biblical times, the Lord commanded some of His people to practice plural marriage—the marriage of one man and more than one woman. Some early members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints also received and obeyed this commandment given through God’s prophets. After receiving a revelation commanding him to practice plural marriage, Joseph Smith married multiple wives and introduced the practice to close associates.

Most of those sealed [married] to Joseph Smith were between 20 and 40 years of age at the time of their sealing to him. The oldest, Fanny Young, was 56 years old. The youngest was Helen Mar Kimball, daughter of Joseph’s close friends Heber C. and Vilate Murray Kimball, who was sealed to Joseph several months before her 15th birthday. Marriage at such an age, inappropriate by today’s standards, was legal in that era, and some women married in their mid-teens. Helen Mar Kimball spoke of her sealing to Joseph as being “for eternity alone,” suggesting that the relationship did not involve sexual relations.

While some are congratulating the Church, the revelation is most likely a smart PR move and not indicative of a significant shift in doctrine. Even Elder Steven E. Snow, the church historian and a member of the leadership explained, “There is so much out there on the Internet that we felt we owed our members a safe place where they could go to get reliable, faith-promoting information that was true about some of these more difficult aspects of our history.” In other words, it was impossible to keep Smith’s polygamy a secret anymore.

But let’s give the LDS the benefit of the doubt. If they were able to evolve on the way they present the very founder of the church, surely they can evolve on the way the church treats women. After all they were able to change their position on Black people, who were barred from being ordained as priests until 1978.

And yet, not only does the Church continue to ban women priests, but, as we covered, in June it excommunicated Mormon Kate Kelly, the founder of the organization Ordain Women, for questioning her Church’s sexism. Kelly appealed the decision to the regional leadership of the LDS Church but recently found out it was denied. She has vowed to appeal to the worldwide leadership next. We’ll have to wait and see what happens. But if the Mormon Church is interested in evolving and not just saving face, they’ll have to come to terms with their own treatment of women — not just their founder’s.

Originally posted on Feministing.

Six ways America distorts Veterans Day so much it had to change the holiday’s name

13 Nov
image via wikipedia

image via wikipedia

Happy Veterans Day, everyone! From the looks of it, Veterans Day is about the glory of war, the bravery of our soldiers, the awesomeness of our discounts! But it turns out that the way we celebrate this holiday has nothing to do with the way the holiday was intended.

1. It wasn’t even called Veterans Day. Veterans Day used to be called Armistice Day and was a commemoration of when, on “the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month” of 1918, the allies and Germans negotiated a cessation of hostilities to what would later be called World War I. On November 11th, 1919, President Woodrow Wilson observed the one year anniversary of Armistice Day in a speech.

To us in America, the reflections of Armistice Day will be filled with solemn pride in the heroism of those who died in the country’s service and with gratitude for the victory, both because of the thing from which it has freed us and because of the opportunity it has given America to show her sympathy with peace and justice in the councils of the nations.

2. It was the commemoration of the end of the War to End All Wars. Today, there is no trace of pacifism or anti-militarism in the way we Veterans Day. But, at the time, the war which killed 10 million military members and 7 million civilians and injured 20 million people was called the Great War or the World War or, most significantly, “the war to end all wars.”  H.G. Wells called it “The War that Will End War” in a Daily News article published on August 14th, 1914:

This is already the vastest war in history. It is a war not of nations, but of mankind. It is a war to exorcise a world-madness and end an age… For this is now a war for peace. It aims straight at disarmament. It aims at a settlement that shall stop this sort of thing for ever. Every soldier who fights against Germany now is a crusader against war. This, the greatest of all wars, is not just another war—it is the last war!

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