Last night President Obama announced an executive order granting amnesty to a certain class of undocumented immigrants. The #tcot responded with their usual eruptions of rage and racism, turned up to 12.
Glenn Beck used to be a very sick man. Last week he revealed that he has suffered through years of debilitating physical symptoms—intense pain in his extremities, an inability to speak, vision loss, and severe chronic insomnia. He feared for his career, and even his life, until he was diagnosed and treated for adrenal fatigue and other unspecified disorders. Beck says he’s now on the road to recovery.
I’ve never met Glenn Beck, nor listened to him for more than a few minutes at a time. In fact, I didn’t realize Beck was still working until a Slate colleague sent me an article about his health revelation. As a fellow human, I’m genuinely pleased that his health has improved, but I’m very concerned about the story he’s telling.
Let’s start with one of Beck’s diagnoses—adrenal fatigue. You have two thumb-sized adrenal glands sitting atop your kidneys. They produce many of the hormones you know by name, including testosterone and adrenaline. Like any other part of your body, the adrenal glands can malfunction. The accepted scientific term for most of these problems is “adrenal insufficiency.” The autoimmune system, for example, sometimes attacks the glands, suppressing production of cortisol. The result is Addison’s disease, which can cause muscle fatigue, weight loss, nausea, and a host of other symptoms. Acute cases can be fatal, especially in young people.
Adrenal insufficiency, however, must be kept separate from adrenal fatigue. Immunologist James Wilson coined the latter term in 1998 to describe a syndrome caused by prolonged stress overburdening the adrenal glands. The symptoms supposedly include extreme fatigue, a general sense of unwellness, and what Wilson calls “gray” feelings.
Wilson is prone to overstatement. He boasts of three doctoral degrees, but two of them are in the scientifically dubious fields of chiropractic and naturopathic medicine. He claims that adrenal fatigue affects millions of people around the world, but provides no credible data to support that statement.
Even though the Conservative Republicans have Mia Love and Tim Scott they wave around like trophies to “prove” they are totally “Not Racist!” the unhinged racism continues:
Around 8 am this morning my wife started grumbling the TV wasn’t working. I reset the U-verse box as per usual but the problem persisted. It was clear right away this was something beyond a typical glitch because of an emergency message displayed on the screen. According to the message, there was a national emergency and the White House was requesting I stand by for important information. In addition the set was apparently “force tuned” to NBC. There was no way to change channels.
My wife wanted me to call AT&T, but I started by poking around online and soon I discovered a thread on the AT&T customer forums filled with people experiencing the same thing.
By the time I arrived for work, the story was already being pushed by several media outlets.
A couple of hours later, the truth came out:
FEMA issued a statement friday afternoon confirming that a radio station program set off a false emergency alert that froze stations earlier today for AT&T U-verse customers and impacted others in several states including Texas, Georgia, Tennessee and Detroit.
“This morning, there was an inappropriate playing of the national emergency alert notification tones on a syndicated radio broadcast,” FEMA spokesperson Rafael Lemaitre said in a statement. “There is not a national emergency. Today’s broadcast triggered alert notification in states where the alert has been played.”
The statement went on to stay that such alerts are designed automatically set off more emergency alerts by other television stations and radio networks. The incident is now being investigated by FEMA and the Federal Communications Commission.
“Certain alerts, like the one broadcast today, are designed to be automatically picked up and rebroadcasted by other radio and TV stations,” the FEMA official said. “FEMA and the FCC are currently working with broadcasters to determine the full scope of the situation.”
Of course since FEMA is involved and the interruption effectively hijacked users TV sets while it was ongoing, it didn’t take long for the conspiracy theorists to jump on the incident.
Two of the more prominent Google search results on the matter are articles titled:
Obama just took over my TV - What the heck?
NSA Collaborator AT&T Throws POTUS Emergency Switch
And there was plenty of Twitter action on the matter:
Alert system, "can only be activated by the President in times of emergency," yet AT&T denies feds involved! http://t.co/dm9znIXTtF
Steven De Gracia 3 mins "TEST RUN!!! SHEEPLE WILL JUST GO BACK TO WATCHING SPORTS!!!" http://t.co/YaQa1BMdKx
Don't worry, friends. We're just testing the Ebola Outbreak messaging system. O.o http://t.co/SN6BSfqT2R
The most common line of the tinfoil brigade is, as you might expect, that the events of this morning were a “test run” of some Obama masterminded plan to take over all media and bring the country to its knees.
There was also frustration expressed at the fact the boxes had “force tuned” people primarily to those evil Liberal networks CBS and NBC instead of letting the patriots of the nation stay on their Fox news.
Others insisted we should take this very seriously since Obama is the ONLY one who could have triggered this signal. A quick Google search shows that is patently untrue and what happened was merely caused by an error. The President has zero involvement in this whole thing, but don’t tell them that, it ruins the narrative,
This situation merely highlights a potential flaw in the Emergency Alert system. Nothing more, nothing less. Certainly not a vast conspiracy or front page news.
The Coloradoan reports:
Rocky Mountain Gun Owners, or RMGO, is suing the Colorado Secretary of State after the agency requested donor records from the Windsor-based pro-gun lobbying group.
RMGO filed the lawsuit Monday in response to the Colorado Secretary of State’s claims that the group violated Colorado disclosure laws. RMGO reportedly spent more than $1,000 on promoting two Republican state Senate candidates and didn’t report to the state where the money came from.
These are the same gun nuts who threatened to sue their home town library after they asked one of the group’s employees to leave the library when her firearm was visible. In that same tradition, they’ve also announced that they plan to also sue to group that filed the disclosure complaint to the Secretary of State.
RMGO officials announced they are suing Colorado Ethics Watch on Monday.
“Colorado Ethics Watch is a leftist entity that uses the Colorado reporting laws to harass conservative and liberty-minded political groups and the hardworking people who choose to support them,” RMGO Executive Director Dudley Brown said in a statement. “We are confident the courts will side with the Constitution and throw these invasive laws out.”
And if that quote doesn’t have enough derp in it to convince you these guys are traging loons, how about this:
“The current law essentially legalizes government ordered identity theft of citizens who want to take part in the political process,” Brown said.
A new study published in the journal Archives of Sexual Behavior, produced by researchers from Canadian Universities, found American states that identify as more religious and conservative are also more apt to search for sex online. Of course, the study makes a point of separating the religiously conservative from the politically conservative. The latter is more likely to look for sex specific terms, such as “gay sex, free porn and xxx,” whereas those that consider themselves religious were looking for generalized sex terms that could’ve theoretically fallen under the “health and wellness” category.
In heavily religious states, abstinence is often pushed as the only safe sex, with very little to offer in the way of sexual education. Unfortunately, that leaves a growing number of people with questions about sex but no answers. Enter Google: the best way to find an answer to personal, possibly embarrassing questions without calling attention to yourself. So of course the study finds that religious communities have a higher percentage of sex-related searches. That’s what happens when you can’t find it elsewhere.
“When people are touting these very hard lines about what others should and shouldn’t be doing and then in their private lives they’re not doing what they say, that doesn’t surprise me.”
Earlier this year, Homegrown Video announced the results of a six-month study on amateur porn demographics. Just under a third of all homemade sex tape submissions were created in the “Bible Belt.” Perhaps even more surprising is the increased female involvement. According to Homegrown Video owner Farrell Timlake, women are now submitting their own videos almost as much as men. Mind you these are not porn stars, just regular folks at home who film themselves for the world to see.
But perhaps even more interesting is the type of user-generated content coming from areas of the country some consider repressed. “We get so many interracial tapes from states that people would stereotype as being racially bigoted areas,” says Timlake. “And that plays into the same thing: the more repressed it is, the more taboo it is, the more somebody is going to want to see it or touch that fire.”
Interesting article, even though it does fall into the category of ‘the blindingly obvious being recast as the cautiously empirical’.
Digby has a short post up about Dinesh D’Souza, which led me to his bizarre twitter feed; check out the graphic pinned to the top of his feed:
There’s also this, from earlier today
Which is a more dangerous infection: Ebola, or the dreams from his father?
The replies are predictably vile:
They’re both African viruses
Dreams from his father - Drunken ones I have heard.
He goes on to brag about how many followers he’s picking up for these stunts:
@Mediaite I love it when my tweets score a direct hit, measured by the intensity of shrieking on the left
Whoa, I might actually reach 125,000 Twitter followers before I reach 400,000 supporters on Facebook
The wingnuts have no shame.
It’s been awhile since I did the Wingnut of the Week here— it’s only Tuesday but I think we have a winner.
Conservative hero Ben Carson is worried about American teenagers joining ISIS. But it’s not because of “radical Islam.” It’s because of new high school history standards.
American’s right wing, you see, is terrified of history because it is always sentimentalizing it. Many of its arguments rely on a feeling of nostalgia for “good old days,” that appeals almost exclusively to aging whites. That means that a more accurate history, one that considers groups that are traditionally marginalized — women, people of color, Native Americans, immigrants and the poor — don’t necessarily sit that well. Their stories, the stories of the downtrodden, crush the false narrative that many conservatives like to imagine — that of a idyllic past marred by the New Deal, women’s liberation and civil rights.
In Denver, a school board recently tried to limit the historical curriculum to only events that would, “promote citizenship, patriotism, essentials and benefits of the free-market system, respect for authority and respect for individual rights.” Needless to say, much of American history — the Great Depression, the Trail of Tears and the internment of Japanese-Americans — would, under those parameters, need to obfuscated. The Republic National Committee, meanwhile, has issued a statement calling the new Advanced Placement U.S. History standards “radically revisionist.” But conservatives may want to take the plank out of their own eye before examining the speck in their neighbors. Here are the most important distortions of history the right has promoted recently.
Before Welfare, Everything Was Awesome
Example: Marvin Olasky’s “Tragedy of American Compassion,” which argues, “Americans in urban areas a century ago faced many of the problems we face today, and they came up with truly compassionate solutions.”
The Problem: As with most conservative revisionism, the idea is that before nasty programs like welfare, the poor did just fine, because private charity aided them. Many conservatives will argue that the War on Poverty has done nothing to reduce poverty and instead we should rely on private charity. But the War on Poverty has actually done much to eliminate poverty and private charity could never fill that chasm that would open up if federal poverty programs were eliminated. So how did we get rid of poverty before government? The answer is that there never was a mythical time without government.
As Mike Konczal writes,
“There has always been a mixed welfare state made up of private and public organizations throughout our country’s history. Outdoor relief, or cash assistance outside of institutions, was an early legal responsibility of American towns, counties, and parishes from colonial times through the early nineteenth century.”
Later, Congress established a pension system for civil war veterans that consumed about 25 percent of all government spending. Rather than “welfare queens” being a post New-Deal development, some 40 states had programs to support single mothers in 1920. In fact, far from being an invention of Franklin Delano Roosevelt and liberals, social insurance programs are staple in civil society. Frederik Pedersen finds that back in the 10th through 12th centuries, Iceland had an extensive social welfare program. Rome, too, had a system of public support designed to aid poor children.
Elizabeth Bruenig notes that the purely voluntary Church-based social insurance many Christians adore never existed. Conservatives ignore the fact that the church was often acting in accord with the state, “You couldn’t just not tithe; the Church would get it out of you somehow, and even had specific statutes related to methods of tithing which fit it into the schema of secular taxation.” Islamic public assistance was also a hybrid church-state institution. The idea that there has ever been a successful purely voluntary public assistance program is a conservative myth invented to justify dismantling anti-poverty programs in the name of a utopian fantasy.
Basically everything about slavery
Example: Recently convicted felon and conservative columnist Dinesh D’Souza’s book, “The End of Racism,” provides some great examples of rewriting race. D’Souza says of slavery, “No free workers enjoyed a comparable social security system from birth until death.” Later, he writes, “Masters … encouraged the family unit which basically remained intact.” In a particularly appalling passage, he writes, “slavery appears such a relatively mild business that one begins to wonder why Frederick Douglass and so many other ever tried to escape.” And concludes, “In summary, the American slave was treated like property, which is to say, pretty well.”
We’re all pretty much aware of it in these parts, but even so, every once in a while something surfaces to do an in-your-face on just how much the Overton Window on race has shifted in the past six years.
So here’s one that demonstrates that the relentless, reckless drumbeat of race hatred engendered by the Obama Presidency has fused its way into the wingnut soul: http://jimromenesko.com/2014/10/03/journalists-get-the-ugliest-letters/
- journalist hears guy watching football game casually toss off the N-word.
- Calls him out on it.
- Gets reprimanded for doing so by the numbnuts at the party.
- Writes a column about spouting racist rhetoric, basically saying "This isn't OK, and it's our duty and responsibility to stand up to racism when we are exposed to it, so it doesn't get any worse."
- Gets charming letter from hysterical racist reader who has deep, deep gender issues (i.e. "To humiliate a man publicly is wrong.")
- Letter culminates in use of c-word
- Wingnuts cheer & threaten journalist with rape
This is the new normal for them. Any criticism, particularly from a woman, is seen as “gelding.” There appears to be the meme that calling out racism, sexism, homophobia, is “regulating our speech!”
The stage is set for the great emasculation meme that will be unfolding during Hilary’s run for the White House.