O’Reilly Misrepresents Facts on Westboro Case, Again

Megyn Kelly discusses Westboro Baptist Church with Bill O’Reilly

Kelly argues areas where O’Reilly has misrepresented the facts surrounding this case. O’Reilly accused Kelly of saying the case had no merit, while Kelly’s position was that it was going to be a closed case.

O’Reilly accused the other two judges in the case with concurring with Judge Shedd’s view that “reasonable people can debate the worthiness the appropriateness of Westboro position.” Kelly points out the other judges threw the case out for other reasons, and did not need to concur with Judge Shedd.

Kelly goes on to explain to O’Reilly that Judge Shedd has a point. “It may not have been intentional infliction of emotional distress, for this Westboro Baptist Church people to go outside of that funeral and protest, because to make that claim under the law you have to prove conduct that is extreme and outrageous, but extreme and outrageous don’t have the meaning that you and I understand them to have;  legally it means something else.”

Latter on Kelly also points out that the Westboro protest was a thousand feet away from the funeral. For a moment, I thought Kelly was going to point out another area where O’Reilly has misrepresented this case, as the protesters didn’t disrupt the funeral.

O’Reilly states at the start of the clip:

As you may remember, these fanatics disrupted the funeral Lance Corporal Matthew Snyder, twenty years old, killed in Iraq.

Evidently the Westboro group wasn’t very successful in disrupting the funeral in question. The father of Lance Cpl. Matthew Snyder did not see t signs of the protesters until he saw them on television later that day.

Kelly points out this case has serious implications on free speech, which it has; but this case has also been a serious misrepresentation of the facts by O’Reilly.

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O’Reilly Misrepresents Facts on Westboro Case, Again

Megyn Kelly discusses Westboro Baptist Church with Bill O’Reilly

Kelly argues areas where O’Reilly has misrepresented the facts surrounding this case. O’Reilly accused Kelly of saying the case had no merit, while Kelly’s position was that it was going to be a closed case.

O’Reilly accused the other two judges in the case with concurring with Judge Shedd’s view that “reasonable people can debate the worthiness the appropriateness of Westboro position.” Kelly points out the other judges threw the case out for other reasons, and did not need to concur with Judge Shedd.

Kelly goes on to explain to O’Reilly that Judge Shedd has a point. “It may not have been intentional infliction of emotional distress, for this Westboro Baptist Church people to go outside of that funeral and protest, because to make that claim under the law you have to prove conduct that is extreme and outrageous, but extreme and outrageous don’t have the meaning that you and I understand them to have;  legally it means something else.”

Latter on Kelly also points out that the Westboro protest was a thousand feet away from the funeral. For a moment, I thought Kelly was going to point out another area where O’Reilly has misrepresented this case, as the protesters didn’t disrupt the funeral.

O’Reilly states at the start of the clip:

As you may remember, these fanatics disrupted the funeral Lance Corporal Matthew Snyder, twenty years old, killed in Iraq.

Evidently the Westboro group wasn’t very successful in disrupting the funeral in question. The father of Lance Cpl. Matthew Snyder did not see t signs of the protesters until he saw them on television later that day.

Kelly points out this case has serious implications on free speech, which it has; but this case has also been a serious misrepresentation of the facts by O’Reilly.

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Fears of US Political Violence Put in Perspective: Softcore

Warnings of political violence and domestic terrorism in America seem to be all the rage these days. Bricks thrown through windows and buses being egged–oh my!

It is just talk; for real examples of political violence, you have to look outside of the US: places like Iraq, where today suicide bombers killed 42 people. Or South Africa, where President Jacob Zuma called for unity after the murder of a white supremacist on Saturday.

No curfews in America due to riots, as there are in India right now. Police in riot gear aren’t battling protesters, but they are in the UK where the EDL clashed with police over a new mosque being built.

Below is a video that sums up the fighting being waged in America today. When it comes to political violence and domestic terrorism, I think the US might just come in dead last.

Washington D.C Monument pillow fight April 3rd 2010

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hYLPvZiBuog

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Please Don’t Add Porn Addiction to Health Insurance Coverage

Japanese PornographyThis NRO article, Getting Serious About Pornography – It is ravaging American families manages to get all the anti-porn arguments rolled into a very short piece.

Quick summary of the arguments:

  1. Pornography is an addiction.
  2. Compares pornography to a drug.
  3. Pornography destroys families.
  4. Pornography is an abuse of free speech.
  5. A lot of well educated people are against pornography.
  6. Personal account of marriage being destroyed by pornography.
  7. Pornography is a gateway to aberrant sexual practices.
  8. Correlating pornography with extra-marital affairs.
  9. Pornography increases belief in the “rape myth”
  10. Objectification of women.
  11. Calls it a mental illness.
  12. Pornography addiction should be added to the APA Diagnostic and Statistical Manual.
  13. Health insurance companies should provide coverage for treatment of pornography addiction.

And my rebuttal:

  1. People can form psychological dependencies with just about everything–we have workaholics, iphone-aholics, shop-aholics. For every human activity, there is someone out there who has turned it into an addition.
  2. Associating pornography with a drug addiction is to lead people to believe its the same as a physical addiction. A closer comparison would be a gambling addiction.
  3. Destroying families? This claim can be made against anything consuming a large amount time. Work, religion, political activism, and on and on could be said to destroy families.
  4. For every form of speech considered offensive, there is a group considering it an abuse of free speech.
  5. There are also well educated people that are not against pornography. Appeal to Authority fallacy.
  6. Bad feelings are associated with the subject, so the subject must be bad. Appeal to Emotion fallacy.
  7. Interest in a sexual practice prompts seeking it out in porn, not the other way around. Confusing Cause and Effect fallacy.
  8. Sixty-two percent of unfaithful husbands had affairs with someone at work, but I wouldn’t claim working causes affairs. Correlation does not imply causation.
  9. The implicit suggestion is that pornography causes rape. The responsibility for rape is with the rapist alone. Saying pornography causes rape gives rapists excuses.
  10. The process of becoming sexually aroused involves seeing your partners body as an object for sex. If sexual objectification were to cease, so would the human species. People of other gender may objectify others; the cause is a lack of empathy, not exposure to pornography.
  11. Others could just as easily be labeled for fear of pornography: pornophobia.
  12. If pornography addiction were included in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual, it would be an expression of political correctness. The DSM at one time listed homosexuality as a disorder.
  13. Isn’t health insurance expensive enough?

jealousy

Now its my turn for my theory about the role pornography plays in relationships. First off; I feel sympathy for anyone whose relationship has deteriorated due to addictive personality disorder. I don’t blame the focus of the addiction for the underlying personality disorder; I blame the disorder.

I don’t doubt there are some people who view pornography like an addict. From my own personal experiences and discussions with others, the conflicts surrounding pornography are more often a symptom of a problem in the relationship, caused by jealousy and lack of communication about sex.

Example–from the article mentioned above.

He (ex-husband) viewed it regularly during high school and college — and, although he tried hard to stop, continued to do so throughout the course of our marriage. For the past few years he had taken to sleeping in the basement, distancing himself from me, emotionally and physically.

Evidently there was conflict when it came to pornography, because the husband felt a reason to stop. The reason to stop might have been religious, or judging from the tone of the article, the husband might have been keeping his sexual interests secret from his wife.

If the reason for stopping was due to religious reasons, odds are that didn’t work out too well. The more you try not to think about something, the more you end up thinking about it. The more taboo a person finds a sexual activity that interests them, the harder they try to suppress those thoughts, the greater the urge becomes to indulge.

If the husband felt the need to keep his sexual interests secret (perhaps going to the basement to view porn), keeping secrets destroy relationships. Keeping parts of oneself hidden away from your significant other is what creates the divide that ends relationships. You can’t feel close to someone if you aren’t open and honest with them.

Another issue that couples run into around pornography is jealousy. Here is an example from a discussion on Porn and Marriage — One Wife’s Response

In a marriage, what one partner does affects the other. That is a fact. So yes, porn is a problem because it affects the person who is supposed to be the husband’s only object for affection.

While I empathize that people feel hurt when their spouse is sexually attracted to someone else, it’s unrealistic to expect your spouse to never find anyone else attractive. It is realistic to ask them to not act upon those attractions and remain monogamous.

marriedBelieving your spouse only finds physical features about you attractive is self objectification. Only considering the physical dimension of attraction leads to hurt feelings. The issue is not pornography, but feeling lack of worth outside of physical appearance.

Mutual admiration for one another goes farther in ending jealousy than physical attractiveness. In dealing with personal jealousy surrounding sex, couples can find security when they first find one another attractive as a person. If there is little beyond physical attraction, the relationship won’t last anyway.

Marriage counseling is fine, but please don’t add porn addiction to health insurance coverage, it’s expensive enough as it is.

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Bill O’Reilly on Westboro Baptist Church: Disrupting the Facts

Bill O’Reilly’s Talking Points: Hating America – 03/30/10

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_qKPka-cwwA

O’Reilly at 1:25 into the clip:

Its obvious they were disturbing the peace by disrupting the funeral. They should have been arrested.

There is a problem with accusing the Westboro Baptist Church of disrupting the funeral. They didn’t disrupt the funeral, as 4th District which reversed the judgment pointed out.

The protest was confined to a public area under supervision and regulation of local law enforcement and did not disrupt the church service.

If the intent of the Westboro Baptist Church was to disrupt the funeral, they failed badly. Albert Snyder, the father of Lance Cpl. Matthew Snyder who died in Iraq, did not see the signs of the protesters until he saw them on television later that day.

Reporting the church members disrupted the funeral is inaccurate. The lawsuit isn’t even about disrupting the funeral; the lawsuit alleges privacy invasion, intentional infliction of emotional distress and civil conspiracy. If the Westboro Baptist Church had disrupted the funeral, they probably would have been arrested.

I don’t know which category this misreporting falls under: defamation, libel or slander. I see a potential for news outlets to be sued by Westboro Baptist Church, for the very similar reasons they were being sued by Albert Snyder–intentional infliction of emotional distress.

The church could claim their image has been harmed, by news outlets falsely reporting they were engaged in an illegal activity. Westboro has ammunition to backup the claim because the court has stated they were not disrupting the funeral.

Bill O’Reilly has offered to pay the $16,000 court costs for Albert Snyder to the Westboro Baptist Church. This sad story has the potential to become even more shocking and depressing. If O’Reilly continues to misrepresent the facts, he might end up handing over even more money to the church.

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Wanted: Universal Translator for Political Speech

Young Turks: Glenn Beck’s view of FDR

This discussion of Glenn Beck from the Young Turks sums up so neatly the political divide between the left and right in America. It shows how the left and right have very different definitions of the following:

  • Rights
  • Where the middle ground is in America
  • History
  • Communism
  • Health Care
  • Facts
  • Oppression

Just as Americans and the British are separated by a common language, so are the left and right in America. If someone from the UK said “I like a fag when I’m pissed,” (i.e. “I like a cigarette when I’m drunk”), I wouldn’t assume they are crazy, because I know they have different meanings for the same words.

I’ve heard countless discussions just like this one, where one side refers to opposing views as making “no sense at all.”  When people start with completely different definitions and make no attempt to understand other side’s definitions, it should come as no surprise that the other side sounds crazy.

I wonder if the universal translator on Star Trek would work for political speech?

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Government Controls the Past, Government Controls the Future

There is always some danger in handing control over to government; for once control of anything is handed to the government, it can and probably will be used for other purposes other than the originally intended goal. I want to touch of the problem of handing control of the education to government and using schools for government agendas.

Yesterday, I blamed my lack of knowledge about the tenth Amendment on the public school system. I believe that schools not emphasizing the importance of pitting the thirst for power between the states and the federal government to balance power might be a result of historical editing. I’m assuming the idea behind this omission was to avoid another Civil War; by leaving out the issue of states having self governance, the Civil War became only about slavery.

Schools have been used to promote political agendas by all sides in politics. These two videos, one from the left and one from the right, make a strong argument for taking control away from government and privatizing schools. As long as the power to decide which textbook to teach from, or what goes into a textbook, rests with those with political interests, textbooks will be used to promote political ideology. (continues after videos)

FoxNews on Biased Textbooks

The Young Turks on Biased Textbooks

From George Orwell’s 1984: If all records told the same tale — then the lie passed into history and became truth. He who controls the past controls the future. He who controls the present controls the past.

To put it another way: when government controls the past, the government controls the future.

Unless you are well-off, you have to move to a school district where the majority views match those you want for your children. Why not just allow private competition between schools or school vouchers? If there was competition among schools, you could just move your kids to another school rather than having to move everything you own.

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Government Controls the Past, Government Controls the Future

There is always some danger in handing control over to government; for once control of anything is handed to the government, it can and probably will be used for other purposes other than the originally intended goal. I want to touch of the problem of handing control of the education to government and using schools for government agendas.

Yesterday, I blamed my lack of knowledge about the tenth Amendment on the public school system. I believe that schools not emphasizing the importance of pitting the thirst for power between the states and the federal government to balance power might be a result of historical editing. I’m assuming the idea behind this omission was to avoid another Civil War; by leaving out the issue of states having self governance, the Civil War became only about slavery.

Schools have been used to promote political agendas by all sides in politics. These two videos, one from the left and one from the right, make a strong argument for taking control away from government and privatizing schools. As long as the power to decide which textbook to teach from, or what goes into a textbook, rests with those with political interests, textbooks will be used to promote political ideology. (continues after videos)

FoxNews on Biased Textbooks

The Young Turks on Biased Textbooks

From George Orwell’s 1984: If all records told the same tale — then the lie passed into history and became truth. He who controls the past controls the future. He who controls the present controls the past.

To put it another way: when government controls the past, the government controls the future.

Unless you are well-off, you have to move to a school district where the majority views match those you want for your children. Why not just allow private competition between schools or school vouchers? If there was competition among schools, you could just move your kids to another school rather than having to move everything you own.

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SPLC: Where is the map of propaganda groups?

After seeing this Dylan Ratigan video from the Southern Poverty Law Center, which grouped ‘Patriot’ groups with hate groups, I decided to look into how these groups are defined.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dhKjlItVhJY

From the Southern Poverty Law Center – definition of ‘Patriot’ groups:

Generally, Patriot groups define themselves as opposed to the “New World Order,” engage in groundless conspiracy theorizing, or advocate or adhere to extreme anti-government doctrines. Listing here does not imply that the groups themselves advocate or engage in violence or other criminal activities, or are racist. The list was compiled from field reports, Patriot publications, the Internet, law enforcement sources and news reports. Groups are identified by the city, county or region where they are located.

The list doesn’t imply theses groups advocate or engage in violence or other criminal activities, or are racist, but Mark Potok of the Southern Poverty Law Center does imply these groups advocate violence in this video.

The kinds of things we’ve seen in the last year are for instance the murder of six law enforcement officials by people, members of the radical right. We have seen plots to murder Obama, we have seen plots to murder black people, to murder jews and so on. I think these are all prompted by the rise of Obama to power. These real changes that are happening around us, people are really angry and hurting out there and many of them feel quite ready to take action.

The terms hate groups and radical right and patriot groups were used throughout this video from Southern Poverty Law Center. I can’t tell exactly which group Potok means in referring to violence, because all these organizations have become an amalgam of one group to the Southern Poverty Law Center.

But what they (Oath Keepers) are really about is the idea that Americans are about to be herded into concentration camps that martial law is going to be imposed, that foreign troops are going to be on American soil, putting Americans done and so on. If what the Oath Keepers did was merely plead one more time to defend the Constitution there would be nothing remotely bad about it.

I can’t say if Americans are about to be herded into concentration camps, but Americans were herded into concentration camp during WWII, so it’s not delusional to believe it could happen.

What is really worrying about a group like the Oath Keepers is this is a group of people who are armed by the rest of society. And in the case of police officers these are people who sometimes have the power of life and death over you or me, and what that means if these men and women are animated by ideas that are completely false, completely paranoid and groundless, you’ve got to worry about who they are going to see as the real enemy and what kinds of decisions they make in stressful situation.

Not everyone knows about the Readiness Exercise of 1984, the plan by the US to test their ability to detain large numbers of American citizens in case of civil unrest. Calling these fears completely false, completely paranoid and groundless is worrisome and inaccurate.

Whether the tea party movement becomes something more like the patriot group, more radical yet, or whether it becomes something else is something we don’t know yet.

So worrying over what the Tea Party movement might become isn’t paranoia, but worrying about what the government has done in the past being repeated is paranoia? The underlying argument is that Mark Potok’s paranoia about ‘Patriot’ groups is the good kind of paranoia and the concerns of ‘Patriot’ groups is the bad kind of paranoia.

Summing up the SPLC position on patriot groups: It’s OK to verbally defend the Constitution, but citizens possessing anything other than harsh words to defend the Constitution are dangerous.

The SPLC has a map of hate groups on their site.

Where is the map of propaganda groups?

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I’m Retarded but I’m not Braindead

The debate over using the R-word leaves me wondering why it is politically correct to call others braindead. Why is it politically incorrect to call someone slow, while calling someone mindless OK?

Retarded means slow, as in slow to learn or grasp a concept, but still has a brain and can learn. In political discussions those with opposing views are often labeled as mindless, braindead, or zombies. They don’t always come right out and call you stupid for disagreeing, but thats the implication.

Examples:

I was surprised because I was sure that she was a thinking person’s Republican, a moderate suburbanite not captured by the tea bagger set.

And it’s triply amazing, of course, because as every right-thinking person knows, Barack Obama is soft on terrorism and wants America to fail.

You have the vote of every thinking person.

I will not dwell on that, but any thinking person should recognize the difference and not blur the discussion.

Each of these basically states is you disagree with the views presented you don’t think, you have no mind. I’m retarded, as in being slow, because I don’t always catch being labeled a braindead zombie at first glance. As every slow thinking person knows: I’m retarded but I’m not braindead, because I know when I’m being insulted for disagreeing.

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