What is this “satire” you speak of?

Our most prominent satirist these days is Stephen Colbert, who plays an ignorant conservative pundit so clueless he doesn’t realize he is saying things that help his opponents. Anyone who has a brain understands the character and gets the jokes.

This is a picture my wife made of Stephen Colbert using dryer lint.  It's now hanging in a Ripley's Believe it or Not Museum somewhere.  Her web page is here:  www.heidihooper.com

This is a picture my wife made of Stephen Colbert using dryer lint. It’s now hanging in a Ripley’s Believe it or Not Museum somewhere. Her web page is here: http://www.heidihooper.com

And then there are The Humorless.

Recently, Colbert did a hilarious bit about how the Washington Redskins, in order to show their concern for the Native Americans they insult daily with their name, set up a charity to benefit said Natives.  They called it “The Washington Redskins Original Americans Foundation” — which is kind of like saying “The Washington Wop Foundation for the Betterment of Italian-Americans” or “The Washington Faggot Gay Rights Foundation.”

Or, as Stephen Colbert put it “The Ching-Chong Ding-Dong Foundation for Sensitivity to Orientals or Whatever.”

Come on, that’s funny.  By using this comparison, he is showing how insensitive the Redskins are being while they pretend to be enlightened.  “I owe all this sensitivity to Redskins owner Dan Snyder,” Colbert said after making the announcement. “So Asians, send your thank-you letters to him, not me.”

To add more irony, “Ching-Chong Ding-Dong” was a character Colbert created to make fun of Rush Limbaugh doing a stereotypical racist rant when imitating Chinese President Hu Jintao.

But some people just don’t get it, claiming he has “gone too far” and demanding a boycott of his show.  These well-meaning but humor-impaired people are against stereotypes and racism.

Hey, just like Colbert!

 

Glenn Beck is sorry

Former Shock Jock Glenn Beck is sorry.  Boy, is he sorry. What a sorry human he is.

“I remember it as an awful lot of fun and that I made an awful lot of mistakes,” he told Fox’s Megyn Kelly on Tuesday. “I think I played a role, unfortunately, in helping tear the country apart.”

You think?  You think that maybe your crazy rants were believed by idiots who took it as the truth?  You think maybe you might have helped convince people that anyone to the left of you was some sort of anti-American socialist out to instill Sharia Law on the country? You think that might have done something to divide us?

Beck, who never studied politics or economics and never went to college, is still someone many on the right see as qualified to discuss current affairs with knowledge.   Like Rush Limbaugh, he is just a loudmouth who was given a microphone. His views are just as informed and valid as your crazy uncle everyone avoids talking to at Thanksgiving.

Sure, everyone has the right to a political opinion, but usually when you want to get insight, you ask someone who is educated or experienced, not whoever is the loudest.  (And yes, to compare, Dr. Rachel Maddow is a Rhodes Scholar whose degree is from Oxford, and Dr. Melissa Harris-Perry has her Political Science doctorate from Duke.)

This statement from Beck, unfortunately, came with absolutely no change in the idiocy of his views.  He also claimed that the reason his latest right-wing project was not being more widely distributed was because the Devil was working against him.

Trust me — if the Devil existed, he would be doing everything he could to help Beck tear the country apart.

Bacon is good for you, says interwebs

It’s on the internet, so it has to be true!

The latest article flying around Facebook claims that scientists have found that bacon is good for you, just like eating your fruits and vegetables (but with more grease).Bacon

Of course, if you read the article a bit, you’ll notice it says no such thing. The article points to research done by Professor Michael Ristow that indicates that niacin (vitamin B3) will help you live longer.

Aha, says the interwebs. Look, there’s lots of B3 in bacon; therefore, logically, bacon must be good for you! If you eat lots of bacon, you’ll live forever!

Or at least until all the fat in bacon clogs your arteries and gives you a heart attack when you’re fifty.

Basically, this guy fed worms niacin and found that they lived a tenth longer than the control worms. (“Control Worms” would be a good name for a band.) Worms. Not humans. Professor Ristow hopes to test this on rats next, but even then — and here’s the point — he’s not feeding them bacon. The word “bacon” is not found in his study anywhere.

Yeah, I know. All you bacon-lovers out there are saying, “Why rain on our parade?” I’m not telling you to stop eating bacon if that is what you really want. I’m just pointing out that too often, we read something on the internet that we want to believe so much that we accept it without question. This is especially true in politics, where Republicans gladly seize upon every lie about Obama floating around and Democrats do the same with articles that make Republicans look bad.

Just be smart about the internet. There is no Nigerian Prince giving you money (in fact, there are no princes in Nigeria), Obama isn’t an atheist Muslim (which logically cannot exist), and bacon doesn’t help you live longer.

Oswald shot Kennedy — From Area 51!

It’s the 50th anniversary of the Kennedy assassination and the conspiracy theories continue.

When I was young, I loved reading about conspiracies. kennedy ufo UFOs, the Kennedy assassination, the Loch Ness Monster — they all interested me.  I was completely skeptical about the official version of the story.

As I grew, I realized what a hypocrite I was being.  I was not subjecting the conspiracy theories to the same skepticism I applied to everything else.   Because I wanted to believe in these things so bad, and because they were often easy answers to complicated issues, I was nieve and accepted things without significant proof.  (Insert your own comment about religious beliefs here.)

I’ve also learned, as a lawyer, that every incident will have various stories that contradict each other and make things seem different than what they appear.  Anything you look at in enough detail will provide things that make it ripe for conspiracy theories.

Plus there are many conspiracy books out there that are just full of lies. Exciting lies that sell books. I used to love reading books by John Keel — “The Mothman Prophecies” was one of his. His books were with all the UFO books in the library and were presented as researched factual accounts. I later learned he was laughing all the way to the bank, and had made up most of his evidence. When they finally made a film of “The Mothman Prophecies” they made no pretense of it being anything other than fiction. But for a long time when I was a kid, I was sure it was all real.

Of course, there really are secret conspiracies.  Usually they are money-related conspiracies, involving insider trading, banks conspiring to sell worthless mortgages, and bribes to get around regulations.  But, as I pointed out before, huge conspiracies of this type are really hard to hide.

If Oswald was innocent, then why did he run after the assassination? Why did he kill the cop who confronted him? It’s not as if it is impossible for him to have done the shooting …

Does that mean there wasn’t something else going on? No, because there are still too many unanswered questions, such as why Jack Ruby, who really had no stake in this, would go out of his way to shoot Oswald. Looked more like a mob silencing to me.

But these days I won’t jump to conclusions without knowing for sure. Just because something is possible doesn’t mean I should believe it.

Another welfare baby

There’s another woman living off of hard-earned taxpayer money having a baby that she doesn’t have to pay for.

Gathering moss

There’s been an outcry over this week’s Rolling Stone cover, featuring the Boston bomber. Some stores are refusing to carry the issue, and many people are boycotting the magazine in complaint.rolling_stone_AP13071714405_270x367

While everyone has the right to protest, and while stores have the right to not sell the magazine, I find myself more in support of the magazine than the protesters.

The best argument the protesters have is that terrorists and criminals should not be given any publicity because it could encourage copy-cats.

But then some are against the cover because then bomber “looks like a rock star” as if the magazine is promoting him — this despite the words on the cover calling him a “monster.”

But isn’t that the point of the article? Not all bad guys look like bad guys. Not all evil Mulsim terrorists look like bin Laden.

Also, this is news. Rolling Stone does cover the news too, you know — it’s not just a music magazine. It’s won awards for its news coverage. Sometimes bad guys make the news.

I don’t know, this seems kind of like punishing the messenger. The article doesn’t sympathize with him or paint him in a good light in any way; it’s an attempt to understand how a kid like that could do something so terrible.

MSNBC versus Fox

No, they’re not the same thing.

Certainly MSNBC is the liberal news network and Fox is the conservative one. No one disputes that.

But to say “MSNBC is the liberal version of Fox” is just plain wrong.

Why?

First of all, MSNBC admits its bias. It wears its bias proudly. They’re liberal and proud of it.

Fox lies. Fox claims that it is an unbiased news source; that’s it’s “fair and balanced.” I’d say that even their own viewers know that they’re not, but many of them exist in that Bubble of Deniability where facts don’t matter — where Benghazi was a conspiracy and climate change isn’t real and Obama is the anti-Christ. They may actually think Fox is unbiased.

Second, MSNBC tries to be truthful. Oh sure, they make mistakes but they apologize and correct themselves when it is discovered. They see themselves as journalists — well, journalists who write editorials, but journalists just the same.

Fox doesn’t care about truth. They’ve been proven wrong again and again and they just don’t care. I hope I don’t have to provide links for this claim — they’re easily enough found on your own. They lie about conspiracies that don’t exist and then claim that the fact that no one else talks about them proves everyone else is part of the conspiracy (a sure sign of paranoia). They claim the economy is falling apart when it is constantly improving. They edit Obama’s speeches to make it look like he said the opposite of what was actually said. The media watchdog groups that call out lies features Fox News almost daily.

They’re not a news network; they are a propaganda network, and they do a great job at it, including denying that they are a propaganda network. And their clueless rubes buy it.

Watch whatever you want; just don’t be stupid. Watch MSNBC knowing they are biased, and take all their reporting with that in mind. And watch Fox knowing that they’re a bunch of lying propagandists who will say whatever will work to make you agree with their politics.