Sunday, April 29, 2012

Quickies




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A round-up of news items, articles, columns and blog posts that caught our eye this past week.

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Here's some more of that new civility we've been hearing so much about:


So, Team O wants someone to be the front person and spokesperson for thier anti-bullying campaign. So, of course, they tab sex advice columnist, Dan Savage, who pens "Savage Love", to be that person. If you are wondering just what the hell the administration would want to have anything to do with someone who writes this sort of stuff (extreme language warning), join the crowd. Here's Savage speaking at a national journalism conference and getting his 2 minute hate on.





As many as 100 high school students walked out of a national journalism conference after an anti-bullying speaker began cursing, attacked the Bible and reportedly called those who refused to listen to his rant “pansy assed.”

The speaker was Dan Savage, founder of the “It Gets Better” project, an anti-bullying campaign that has reached more than 40 million viewers with contributors ranging from President Obama to Hollywood stars. Savage also writes a sex advice column called “Savage Love.”

Savage, and his husband, were also guests at the White House for President Obama’s 2011 LGBT Pride Month reception. He was also invited to a White House anti-bullying conference.


Savage was supposed to be delivering a speech about anti-bullying at the National High School Journalism Conference sponsored by the Journalism Education Association and the National Scholastic Press Association. But it turned into an episode of Christian-bashing.

Rick Tuttle, the journalism advisor for Sutter Union High School in California, was among several thousand people in the audience. He said they thought the speech was one thing – but it turned into something else.

“I thought this would be about anti-bullying,” Tuttle told Fox news. “It turned into a pointed attack on Christian beliefs.”

Tuttle said the speech was laced with vulgarities and “sexual innuendo not appropriate for this age group.” At one point, he said Savage told the teenagers about how good his partner looked in a speedo.

The conservative website CitizenLink was the first to report about the controversy. They interviewed a 17-year-old girl who was one of students who walked out of the auditorium.

“The first thing he told the audience was, ‘I hope you’re all using birth control,’” she told CitizenLink. “he said there are people using the Bible as an excuse for gay bullying, because it says in Leviticus and Romans that being gay is wrong. Right after that, he said we can ignore all the (expletive deleted) in the Bible.”

As the teenagers were walking out, Tuttle said that Savage heckled them and called them pansy-assed.

“You can tell the Bible guys in the hall they can come back now because I’m done beating up the Bible,” Savage said as other students hollered and cheered. “It’s funny as someone who is on the receiving end of beatings that are justified by the Bible how pansy-assed people react when you push back.”

(italics, ours)

We remain unaware of what Savage was pushing back against with specific respect to those in the audience who simply no longer wanted to hear his hate-fueled rant.



It gets better, though:

The executive director of the National Scholastic Press Association provided Fox News with joint statement from the Journalism Education Association that was sent to members – after a number of people complained about Savage’s remarks.

“We appreciate the level of thoughtfulness and deliberation regarding Dan Savage’s keynote address,” the NSPA wrote. “some audience members who felt hurt by his words and tone decided to leave in the middle of his speech, and to this, we want to make our point very clear: While as a journalist it’s important to be able to listen to speech that offends you, these students and advisers had simply reached their tolerance level for what they were willing to hear.”

The NSPA said they did not have a prior transcript of Savage’s speech and that wish “he had stayed more on target for the audience of teen journalists.” They also said it provided a “teachable moment” for students.

(ed. note: True. What was taught was that Dan Savage is a unapolgetic asshole.)

As for Savage’s attack on people of faith?

“While some of his earlier comments were so strongly worded that they shook some of our audience members, it is never the intent of JEA or NSPA to let students get hurt during their time at our conventions,” they wrote.

However, not once did the NSPA or the JEA offer any apologies to the students or faculty advisors or anyone else in attendance.

Savage did offer a sarcastic apology “if I hurt anyone’s feelings.”

“But I have a right to defend myself and to point out the hypocrisy of people who justify anti-gay bigotry by pointing to the Bible and insisting we must live by the code of Leviticus on this one issue and no other.”

Tuttle said that he “felt duped” by the event. “There were Christian schools who went to the conference. To have this happen was disappointing and shocking.”

The NSPA said they should have done a better job preparing schools for what to expect.

(italics, ours)

Preparing the schools? How about the NSPA do the minimal amount of preparation of their own in vetting their speakers?

We are curious just how it is that you prepare high schoolers for a very bitter man who writes vulgar columns regarding advice on sex that are way out of the mainstream of the American public?

Nice work, Team O.









Shane Atwell had a nice catch with respect to the Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act:


The Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act apparently just cleared the house. Despite Speaker Boehner's (R) promise that he's "from the government and here to help", it has at least one horrible provision. From Ron Paul's site:

CISPA represents an alarming form of corporatism, as it further intertwines government with companies like Google and Facebook. It permits them to hand over your private communications to government officials without a warrant, circumventing well-established federal laws like the Wiretap Act and the Electronic Communications Privacy Act. It also grants them broad immunity from lawsuits for doing so, leaving you without recourse for invasions of privacy. Simply put, CISPA encourages some of our most successful internet companies to act as government spies, sowing distrust of social media and chilling communication in one segment of the world economy where America still leads.

I'm guessing this also means the companies will also be granted immunity from lawsuits based on the privacy provisions of the contracts they sign with their customers. In other words, CISPA is a backdoor out of provisions in all their contracts with users. This is how our corrupt politicians grow the state, by pitting pressure groups against each other. Got too much opposition from Facebook and Google? Throw them a bone and sacrifice the users and the sanctity of contracts.

The other disturbing aspect of the bill is that it promises "voluntary" cooperation between the government and internet companies. In what sense can such data sharing be considered voluntary when the same companies are regulated by dozens of government agencies ready to crucify them if they get uppity?


Private enterprises in bed with the government always leads to conflicts of interest and the outcomes are usually rather unsavory. We have seen the same sort of politics played already with ObamaCare that is not yet fully on the books as the health insurance companies have become effectively wards of the state and will do whatever the Secretary of Health and Human Services "shall determine."






So, what's snopes.com trying to cover up with respect to SCYTL? Sir Charles of Doo Doo economics has the goods, here.







And via Dueling Barstools:












You know, maybe if somebody got laid as a result of Fast and Furious, more people would actually pay attention to a scandal that, unlike the GSA and Secret Service/prostitution scandals, has actually resulted in the loss of life...


President Barack Obama used his White House Correspondents’ Association dinner speech on Saturday evening to take jabs at several dustups plaguing his own administration, but left one scandal — Operation Fast and Furious — out of his bag of jokes.

Obama poked fun at presumptive Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney and the General Services Administration all in one swipe. “Anyway, it’s great to be here this evening in the vast, magnificent Hilton ballroom — or what Mitt Romney would call a little fixer-upper,” he said to laughter and applause. “I mean, look at this party. We’ve got men in tuxes, women in gowns, fine wine, first-class entertainment. I was just relieved to learn this was not a GSA conference.”

The agency’s much-discussed lavish conference in Las Vegas, he said, was “unbelievable. Not even the mind reader knew what they were thinking.”

Obama launched barbs, too, at the Secret Service prostitution scandal.

“I had a lot more material prepared, but I have to get the Secret Service home in time for their new curfew,” he joked.

But although he made room in his set for more than one joke about reports, which first surfaced April 17 at The Daily Caller, that he ate dog meat while growing up in Indonesia, the president made no attempt to get the Washington, D.C. media elites to laugh at Fast and Furious.

That didn’t stop the event’s emcee Jimmy Kimmel from slipping a single joke about the gun-walking scandal into the mix.

“Even some of your fellow Democrats think you’re a pushover Mr. President,” Kimmel said during his stand-up routine, which followed Obama’s. “They would like to see you stick to your guns — and if you don’t have any guns, they would like to see you ask Eric Holder to get some for you.”

Obama forced a smile but didn’t audibly laugh at that joke.



Nothing at all to laugh about.







With respect to government-operated public pension plans, Glenn Reynolds asks this:

See, the thing is, some people say that people aren’t clever enough to plan for their own retirement. But what makes anyone believe that people can then be clever enough to plan for other people’s retirements?


Again, statism is sexy because statism is easy. Why demonstrate any personal initiative and take any risks when you can simply take other people's money?






Secular Apostate has some bad news for a recently-celebrated set of people who get degrees from college that won't pay off their student loans:


I was reading a Reuters article about the paltry crowds that turned out last Wednesday to whine and beg protest student loan policy. Naturally, being a reporter, the Reuters newshound Edith Honan actually interviewed some of these overindulged idiots. And she got some gems. Gems that I will share with you, dear readers.

But first, to “protest” the unfair demand that loan recipients pay the loan back, the young debtors set fire to their debt documents. Children, I have an unpleasant surprise for you. The bank has a copy of those documents, with your Social Security number and signature, on file. You will never be eligible for bankruptcy. Unless you take a government job spraying herbicide or sorting documents, you will be hounded until the day you die or you pay back every last cent, whichever comes first. Burning the pink copy is a sure sign of slackerhood compounded by profound moronicity. In the Museum of Empty Gestures, yours will be placed in the Most Pathetic collection. If you want a place of pride under the rotunda, set yourself on fire.


Read the hilarious interviews at the link.




OK, gang. That's it for today. Will see you all tomorrow.


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6 comments:

Road Dawg said...

I found no offense in his (Savage's) remarks. He could have taken the high road and excluded profanity, but so much made sense. Why do Christians pick and choose passages to depict the gays as the enemy?

How was it he never used words of our Savior from the Gospels to provide the same argument? With all the hype, and "end of times" hoopla promoting anti-gay sentiment, don't you think Jesus would have spoke to this in the Gospel?

Because he preached on the love of our brothers, sinners or not, and preached against the wickedness of human judgment (and bullying) when hearts are not in the right place.

Of course it was a pointed attack on Christian beliefs. Why not with so much hypocrisy. We make ourselves an easy target.

We have preachers cheating on their wives; we have drug and alcohol abusers. We have the same preachers condemning homosexuals and providing speech that provides cover for bullying. Where does Jesus teach this?

I did not see the intolerant hate in his speech; I saw a coherent message to question our belief whereby we pick and choose passages at our convenience. I saw thin-skinned Christians unable to take it. Probably the same simple-minded idiots that believe dinosaurs were on the ark.

What is more intolerant? To bully and judge people to eternal damnation, or to provide a succinct dissent of their intolerable nonsense?

"Therefore you have no excuse, whoever you are, when you judge others; for in passing judgment on another you condemn yourself, because you, the judge, are doing the very same things." (Romans 2:1)

Dean said...

Let me get this straight: Savage is supposed be giving a talk on bullying and he immediately starts mocking Christians by asking if they are using birth control and calling them pansie-asses. Good to know.

Savage is supposed to be the adult in the crowd but apparently he did not get the memo.

If Savage approached the issue of alleged Christian hypocrisy in the manner that you did, Dawg, then it would have been a completely different story. He chose not to, however... he chose to use his literal bully pulpit to belittle high school kids, their views/opinions of homosexuality he has not a clue and which I guarantee you are much more libertine, because of their age in this year of our Lord, 2012, than Savage would be willing to admit.

Savage needs to save his pouty-mouthed love advice column for, well... his pouty-mouthed love advice column.

drozz said...

savage needs to start watching south park.

other wise, he'll end up in san diego...

Secular Apostate said...

Savage can't help it. He keeps hearing "Ooh, you savage! Berate me again, please!", and operant conditioning takes its course.

And thanks for the link, amigo.

Road Dawg said...

Jesus breaks the Sabbath laws, gives a long description why, and breaks other Old Testament laws. In the context he tells them to teach and obey what he has commanded.

Savage is correct in challenging young minds that are corrupt in finding some passages fair to find prejudice and cover for bigotry and disrespect and others to disregard.

I saw the video and didn't find his arguments as bullying. I found it in common with mocking and retaliating against those who would accept the motto of "what would Jesus do" and provide cover for the hatred and bullying of their fellow humans.

I make fun of my fellow Christians for so many reasons, some the same, some for idiotic theology that doesn't square with geology. It doesn't mean I am the same bully that presses children into guilt for believing our Creator can be creative outside of the box.

Savage provides a point of view, (yes from his bully pulpit) that should be heard and/ or challenged, not walked away.

In all the criticism of his "hate speech" I don't see any of the readers of this blog disputing his actual criticism of how we use one Bible passage over another.

I find him to be reciprocative, not bullying. He had a chance to show how we use passages to provide cover for hatred and he used it.

In the context of the video alone, I don't blame him. I did not see him belittle Christians, I saw them leaving from the moment he mentioned the Bible. It appeared to be a planned walk-out of holier than thou, can’t defend my faith, pansy assed bunch of kids.

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