Friday, August 22, 2014

How Reporters Smoked Ferguson, Missouri

Photo courtesy of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch
What started out as a local shooting death in an average neighborhood in the township of Ferguson just outside of St. Louis City has become a media crack house.  The immediate rush to label this a racially-motivated incident, even murder, has been nothing less than a call to get high for journalists. 

Thus, in the two weeks since the shooting, journalists from news networks, citizen journalists, and bloggers have come running to St. Louis, salivating like Pavlov’s dogs.  A story about a white cop who shoots an unarmed black teenager in cold blood is a tremendous fix, even if they have to cook that narrative up with as few facts as possible.

The story hasn’t turned out to be what they had anticipated, however, as things aren’t always as simple as they appear.  Details surrounding the incident came out drop by uncomfortable drop, revealing a fuller picture that perhaps Officer Darren Wilson had probable cause to shoot and kill.  No matter.  What has supplied the media with continuous fixes are the looters and the rioters, the police with tear gas, the insertion of politicians called to “do something” about civil unrest, the arrival (and departure) of the National Guard, and even the federal government carving out a role for itself in a neighborhood that is better measured in square yards than in square miles.

Photo courtesy of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch
And so two weeks later, with no new developments in the investigation into the shooting, that story seems to have faded significantly as the reporters themselves have taken center stage.  The media now appear to be like a large flock of pigeons flitting up and down West Florissant Avenue.  They have nailed down canopies, and reporters can be spotted at almost every street corner psychoanalyzing everything from the gunshot pattern to voting practices of the state.

It just feels and smells like they are here to put themselves on camera. And I’m not the only one who is saying that. One journalist and one photographer have recently written blog posts about why they are leaving Ferguson, and they are doing it for all the right reasons. Ryan L. Schuessler, a freelance journalist shares one of his observations:

“One reporter who, last night, said he came to Ferguson as a “networking opportunity.” He later asked me to take a picture of him with Anderson Cooper.”

He writes
“There are now hundreds of journalists from all over the world coming to Ferguson to film what has become a spectacle. I get the sense that many feel this is their career-maker. In the early days of all this, I was warmly greeted and approached by Ferguson residents. They were glad that journalists were there. The past two days, they do not even look at me and blatantly ignore me. I recognize that I am now just another journalist to them, and their frustration with us is clear. In the beginning there was a recognizable need for media presence, but this is the other extreme. They need time to work through this as a community, without the cameras. 
We should all be ashamed, and I cannot do it anymore. I am thankful for my gracious editors who understand that.”
Photographer Abe Van Dyke confesses he felt like part of the problem.

“When the skies turn dark is when troublemakers come out which has led to night after night of violence in this small community. Expecting the worst, an increasing amount of amateur, foreign and domestic journalists came into town. At one point there appeared to be as many media members as there were protestors...”

“A woman was pepper sprayed and a civilian medic needed to attend to her which brought the media to completely surround her and the medic.

To me this is the point where the media is no longer simply reporting what is happening but rather becoming a hindrance and making the situation worse. Over the past few days journalists have been a part of inciting protestors by getting dangerously close and not always following police orders...”

“I am no saint. I photographed alongside everyone tonight and was part of the problem. I refused to follow police orders and only moved when threatened by arrest or with the flow of the crowd.

I am embarrassed by the way the media acted tonight, myself included and have decided that the media is now a problem in Ferguson. I will be leaving Missouri in the morning while hundreds of other journalists will continue to record events and battle with police for the right to be there.”
Photo courtesy of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch

It hasn’t been all bad though.  Media, eager to scoop up anything they can find, have unwittingly outed the great number of out-of-town protesters among the locals, perhaps even outnumbering the locals.  Known Marxist revolutionaries, New Black Panthers, and professional agitators have been spotted in the streets.  Even Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson have paid a token visit.  Eric Holder too.  I wonder how many of them even know the names of Michael Brown’s parents. 

Clearly, the situation in Ferguson has become ridiculously media-driven.  It would be better for the community if the cameras were put away at this point, because it can be difficult to tell if marchers are marching for Michael Brown or marching for the camera…and some looted hair extensions.  And the journalists?  I think it will be hard for them too.  They will stay at least through the Michael Brown funeral.  There’s still a little life left in Ferguson they have to burn and smoke before they finally look elsewhere.

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

The Deportation of the Politically Incorrect

The story of this family has been in and out of the news over the last six years.  But the final word from the Justice Department towards the Romeike family is that the freedom to live however you like only applies if you're gay, a Muslim, or a Mexican illegal...or if you're a gay Muslim Mexican illegal.

Obama Admin. Wins Battle to Deport Christian Home School Family

For those of you who like to say you keep your attentions focused solely on the Gospel, how much injustice do you let pass before you in an effort not to appear controversial to those whom you're trying to earn their approval (and perhaps buy their conversion)? I admit I've heard a lot of sermons admonishing Christians to live out the Gospel by helping the needy and oppressed. Isn't it strange that when the oppressed fall outside politically correct spheres that suddenly the Gospel isn't about helping them in their time of need?

Supposedly, the rationale for deportation goes a little like this:  Germany's government wants to foster "pluralism," and home schooling somehow isn't pluralistic. That attitude self-refutes, because if the German government likes pluralism, then this family is a great example of their society exercising pluralism by schooling their children outside their ethnocentric norms.  For our Justice Department to look at this and deport them for no good reason should be a violation of civil rights--after all, this Administration is big on giving civil rights to non-citizens of the US, right?

However, the biggest hypocrites of all I see are Christian hipsters who imagine themselves too cool to get involved. Hipsterism says that global warming and $20 birth control are real crises, and the solution is obviously to drink more Starbuck's coffee in disposable plastic cups and wage an expensive campaign to force everyone to pay for "free" carcinogens (birth control pills).  Standing up for the liberty of a Christian family to teach the three R's while saving energy (on gas and clothing) and dispensing with schoolyard bullying is obviously not as cool today as standing up for the gay Muslim Mexican illegal's right to marry another gay Muslim Mexican illegal in a church.  

UPDATE:  According to the Home School Legal Defense Association (HSLDA), The Department of Homeland Security (I know, huh?) has declared that the Romeike family can stay in the US permanently.  Hallelujah!

From their Facebook status update:
BREAKING NEWS!!! The Romeikes can stay!!!
Today, a Supervisor with the Department of Homeland Security called a member of our legal team to inform us that the Romeike family has been granted "indefinite deferred status". This means that the Romeikes can stay in the United States permanently (unless they are convicted of a crime, etc.) This is an incredible victory that can only be credited to our Almighty God.We also want to thank those of who spoke up on this issue--including that long ago White House petition. We believe that the public outcry made this possible while God delivered the victory.This is an amazing turnaround in 24 hours. Praise the Lord. Proverbs 21: 1 "The king's heart is like a stream of water directed by the Lord, He guides it wherever He pleases."~~Michael Farris

Friday, October 25, 2013

Obamacare, America is just not that into you.

The United States is into week three after the official launch of the Obamacare exchanges website and.....things are not looking so good for Pres. Obama's namesake health care plan.  Not only does the website fail to work properly in the majority of cases, the numbers of people who are ultimately choosing to buy their health insurance from the government is pathetically low.  Let's just face it.  Obamacare, we're just not that into you.  

The literal bottom line is that the Unaffordable Lack-of-Care and Patient Victimization Act needs you more than you need it. And why buy insurance, when you can have Medicaid for free?

CBS This Morning reports that Medicaid enrollment has been high, while Obamacare--well, you know that story. And thus actuates what conservatives have been saying about statist large-scale schemes to fund things do not work over the long haul. In health control's case, unlike Social Security, we will be seeing its failure a lot sooner than later.  In addition, the cost of that failure will be enough to rupture the average American's pants if not the entire US economy.

Saturday, October 19, 2013

"Die! Die! Die!"

Yes, I enjoyed that wholesome family sit com Home Improvement.  It was one of the few contemporary family sit coms that still acknowledged common sense in everyday living instead of rationalizing ostentatious behavior as normative.  But I one episode the Taylor family goes to open mic poetry night at a local restaurant(?), and the first poem read is by a woman in Goth regalia.

"Die!" she poeticizes into the microphone.  Everyone looks around as it is apparent that that is all there is to this poem.

"You first," mutters Randy.  And that response is about as common sense as it gets.

Just two states over from where I live, a chilling high school banner reads:  "ZERO POPULATION GROWTH; IT'S UP TO YOU - NO MORE THAN TWO."  Wow.  So few words; so lengthy a message.  Apparently, zero is a good thing, and "you" must limit yourself to having two children (that's the unstated indirect object) in your lifetime.  Pretty heavy for high school, don't you think?

The one wrong thing to do about this poster is to give credit for any of the words on it.  First, zero population growth is not "zero population growth."  It is population stagnation, and if that is the goal, it would be similar to sloganing "Zero Economic Growth; It's Up To You - No More Than [insert arbitrary income level here]."  What the slogan does not recognize is that there is such a thing as an already declining birth rate, and that there is such a thing as a death rate.  As it stands, every major developed country is experiencing non-replacement birth rates.  I attended a conference last weekend, and the esteemed speaker, Dr. Craig Mitchell, had related to the audience that Japan in 2012 was the first year that purchases for adult diapers exceeded the purchases of baby diapers.  The irony of zero population growth is that it is not a controllable data point.  Populations cannot be controlled; they either rise or they fall destructively due to artificial stresses on society.  A birth rate equal to that of the death rate is unattainable through effort, because there are too many variables.

But that isn't the real goal, is it?  If you've been around the pro-life block several times like I have, you know that zero population growth isn't about balance.  It is not even about the environment as often touted.  No, environmental concerns are a smokescreen for gaining greater control by the powerful over the less powerful.  It is about instituting mass manipulation as fulfillment of a marginalized ideology that would never gain popularity if not for a generous bit of sophistry and fascism.  Every tyrant and dictator to have come into power since the 20th century has launched a campaign to reduce their local population to a "manageable" size.  The killing fields of Tuol Sleng, the failed agriculture scheme of Mao, the mass executions of Stalin--all done in the effort to stamp out dissent and the distasteful ideas that people should be free to earn and reproduce as they see fit, not as a central planner sees fit.

So "IT'S UP TO YOU," is not a word of encouragement.  It's a demand.  And given that there is absolutely zero context given to this poster, we can assume that all methods of meeting this goal may be implemented:  carcinogenic contraception, abortion, sterilization, gendercide.  Of course, these things done voluntarily is preferred, I'm sure.  Involuntary methods, however, are just one refusal away.

Sure, we'll get to the point where there are more elderly people to care for than there are caretakers.  Oh, but don't worry, the anti-humanitarian laws being introduced today will make executing them easier tomorrow by labeling it a "GOOD DEATH; IT'S UP TO YOU - ONE AND DONE."

You first.

Addendum: I find it ironic that those who advocate population reduction and control never include themselves in that population that must be reduced or controlled. Of course, they justify that kind of elitism with implying that no one would spread their message if they would volunteer to leave the land of the living first. But I would remind everyone that the ideology that has spawned their protests has come from people long dead now, and they should fear not for the immortality of their worldview. After all, in the words of Margaret Sanger, "there is nothing they do that hasn't been done before," so to be consistent, these population bombers should lead by example and be the first to improve the state of the earth by throwing themselves into the ovens. With popular support of euthanasia among them, why delay?

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Abortion, The End of Science

The nerd in me finds this stuff fascinating.  Towards the end, scientist Drew Barry says that scientific discovery is just part of the goal of eradicating disease and poverty.  Now, please think about that:  science is useful for discovering ways to cure disease (and by "poverty," I assume he means physical disabilities that prevent people from being able to work to provide for themselves).  Who thinks that is a bad thing?  No one, right(?)...we think...except that the idea of using science to cure disease and to make people well runs directly counter to the prevailing indoctrination that abortion is used to cure disease and eliminate poverty.  Why pursue scientific discovery for the purpose of advancing medicine when the most efficient method of eradicating disease and poverty is abortion?

Not only that, abortion is touted as a right and classified as a right by the Supreme Court of the United States.  Notice what has happened here--scientific medical treatment is not a right.  Therefore, no one has a right to demand a cure or treatment for disease.  As much as liberal politicians talk about health care being a "right," the truth is that has not been established by a court decision.  But abortion has.

Now we come to a certain dilemma.  If abortion is a right, then there is nothing about it that can be criticized.  In fact, being a right means it is a state-sanctioned, superior practice to all others, including medical science.  Abortion removes a major impetus for medical scientific discovery, because it is doing a much better job at eradicating disease and poverty by eliminating those that are diseased and/or poor (supposedly).  Has medical science cured 90% of all Down Syndrome children from ever walking on the earth?  I submit it has not.  Has it successfully removed from the American population 57 million individuals who would have come into the world diseased, poor, unwanted, or otherwise useless to society?  No to that too. Abortion has had numerically more success at its advertised aims than medicine, I believe (and not just in the U.S. but globally).  If we took seriously all the reasons in favor of abortion, we should come to realize that abortion alone is the solution to all afflictions (be they medical or social) that can be detected early enough.

At this point, many will want to argue with me saying that medical scientific discovery cannot be compared to abortion.  They will, hopefully, arrive at the conclusion that medical science seeks to cure the individual of disease, while abortion seeks to kill the individual with a disease.  This is a very important distinction that dismantles the notion that aborting babies who are diseased or might be born into a life with few material resources is a necessity and a right for the sake of the ones who are not being aborted.  If we want to respect the field of medical research and discovery properly, we cannot continue to accept the view of abortion as the solution to disease and poverty.  Abortion for reason of disease or poverty is a logical farce.