I remember a movie from childhood, released by Disney, called Freaky Friday. I’m glad I never saw it, as my intellectual growth was already stunted by too many crappy sitcoms.
But, as this post will hit on a Friday, these last two weeks have been truly freaky. Jane, stop this crazy thing! Here we go to the freak show….
1. The Duggar Family.
The show “19 Kids and Counting,” which I have also proudly never seen, has raised its share of controversy lately, with Josh Duggar, son of Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar, outed for molesting his younger sisters and never facing charges.
If you’ve been following the story, there’s no need to recap.
My first thought was “I bet they homeschooled their kids.” Yeppirs, I was correct.
Families like this tend to be connected to a spider web of conservative Christian and Dominionist organizations, and they instruct their offspring to put God’s Word (as they understand it) into American government, to cleanse America of her sins and make us truly godly again. Never mind about that pesky “no religious test shall ever be required for public office” part of the Constitution that even came before the Bill of Rights.
After being fruitful and multiplying, they will send their offspring to private Christian colleges and universities where they will be trained to go to Washington to fight against abortion, humanism, agnosticism, atheism, liberalism, and whatever their issue du jour is to ensure that we are truly a Christian nation.
They also are “young Earth creationists,” who state the Big Bang Theory and evolution are blatant lies, and that humans and dinosaurs shared our planet.
Not surprisingly, they are fighting for the right for all Americans to be just like they are. The Duggar family has relied on curriculum from the Family Research Council, which the Southern Poverty Law Center identified as a religious hate group in 2010.
In 45 of 50 states, no degree is required to homeschool. When I went to public school, about a third of my teachers had master’s degrees or above.
Too much to go into here, but to understand adult survivors of homeschooled families like the Duggars, there’s an excellent site called Homeschool Alumni Reaching Out.
Not all homeschooling is inadequate, but over 75 percent of homeschooled children are the offspring of conservative fundamentalist Christians.
I told you I was starting the Friday Freak Show!
2. What have we learned today?
Well, not much from what used to be The Learning Channel, home of “19 Kids…,” now rebranded as TLC.
TLC, when it was founded as The Learning Channel, was begun in 1972 as a cable-only channel in a joint venture between NASA and the former Department of Health, Education and Welfare (HEW).
In 1980, The Learning Channel was privatized, and it was then purchased by Discovery Communications in 1991. In recent years, The Learning Channel was rebranded as simply TLC. Not much learning going on there any more.
If it was still The Learning Channel, “19 Kids…” would have been a one-time documentary which would not have paid for the Duggar family’s digs if it had aired at all. Instead, that freak show’s crib was paid for by the network.
Discovery Communications, publicly traded, owns at least 13 cable channels, including (obviously) the Discovery Channel, along with joint ownership of the Oprah Winfrey Network (OWN) with its namesake, Animal Planet, Velocity, Destination America and others. Google it if you want to see the rest. There’s no way I’m typing the names of all of those channels.
The Newhouse family, owner of the privately held Advance Communications, holds 39 percent of Discovery Communications’ stock. Advance Communications owns The Oregonian of Portland, the New Orleans Times-Picayune, the Cleveland Plain Dealer, and the entire suburban Sun Newspapers chain of Greater Cleveland, along with numerous other media properties.
Well, the Plain Dealer was never anything great, but it has descended into Suck Zone. Just like the Times-Picayune no longer being a daily newspaper, and what used to be The Learning Channel.
3. Rachel Dolszar.
And, the freak show continues. This woman was born as European-American as I, but she impersonated being African-American, and was the president of the Spokane, Washington NAACP.
There was no need for her to impersonate. NAACP regional presidents have sometimes been, well, white.
In 2012, I had training for a program called Election Protection, designed to prevent harassment of voters. I was proud to do it, and having never been in the military, I served my nation to the best of my ability that Election Day.
Who trained me? The NAACP in Cleveland.
Before I wrap this take up, as a matter of principle, if the system was trying to prevent a trailer park full of Duggar families who would vote 98 percent against my interests, I would nonetheless have done the same thing for them as I did for voters in seven different locations on Cleveland’s West Side.
Sorry, Rachel, there was no need to lie, as you did not only to the NAACP but to the historically black Howard University playing the race card the other way. Rachel, I do not really care what color you are. But one thing about whatever color you are really pisses me off.
You are a fraud.
4. Caitlyn Jenner.
You’re a 65-year-old man. You got some hormone injections, a boob job, and only your hairdresser knows for sure what else, but you still kept the schlong.
You also ate up more than one news cycle seeking (and getting) attention, and you wasted time I will never get back.
Worse yet, ESPN gave you its Arthur Ashe Courage Award for going public about wanting to be a she-male for the rest of your life.
Arthur Ashe had courage. You, sir/ma’am, are just a media whore.
How about the TMZ Waste Of My Time Award?
5. Dylann Storm Roof
You murdered nine innocent people in a church. Including the pastor who was a South Carolina state senator.
How, at the young age of 21, could you have so much hate in your heart and mind?
You failed ninth grade twice. Obviously, you did not teach it to yourself. Or maybe, you did. Your kind tends not to be very bright.
Don’t blame it on the drugs. Back in my day, liberals did the drugs. Sorry.
Oh. you’re white. I get it now.
If a black man commits a crime, he’s a thug, a savage, and a complete menace to society. You killed nine people in what any reasonable person would call a hate crime, but you’re just mentally ill. After all, you’re white.
But, after all, guns don’t kill people, people kill people.
And the atomic bombs we dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki didn’t kill a million people or more and devastate two cities.
The pilots did.
You were unemployed with no goals, no driver’s license and two arrests, but at 21, your age of majority, you were gifted the firearm you used to kill nine innocent people, six women and three men, and one of the men was the pastor of that African Methodist Episcopal church. Their families will never get their loved ones back, and about that gun you used:
It, indeed, killed nine innocent people. Because you deliberately fired it committing nine murders in a hate crime. If you had walked into Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church with something that also can be lethal, such as a knife or a baseball bat, you would have gotten a beatdown.
Nine innocent people would still be breathing on this Earth, making it a better place in 30 minutes than you could ever hope to make it in your entire existence.
6. Who are our terrorists?
Since Timothy McVeigh bombed the federal building in Oklahoma City 20 years ago, we have had domestic terrorism.
With the exception of 9/11, far-right domestic terrorists have killed almost ten times more Americans on our own soil than anyone connected with Islam. Our dangerous jihadists in the United States are more likely to be named Joseph than Mohammed.
Now, who are these people?
Start with the remains of the KKK and other white separatists, who Roof seemed to be. Add to the volatile mix Christian Identity groups, who also harbor anti-Semitism, along with anti-gay groups, along with your anti-abortion crowd.
Now, let’s toss in “Patriot” groups, who run almost exclusively white and free enterprise with a decided affinity for the Second Amendment as they perceive it. Oh, and who can forget the neo-Nazis here?
Others align with this toxic mix from fear that they will no longer be a majority in a nation that has already marginalized them.
Since the 2008 election of President Obama, the number of identified hate groups in the United States has more than quadrupled, according to the Southern Poverty Law Center.
Many of these groups target recruits at the youngest age they can, as their elders are, well, elderly now.
This is what our murderer said before he let his fatal bullets fly; reportedly reloading five times:
“I have to do it. You rape our women and you’re taking over our country, and you have to go.” – Dylan Storm Roof
You cannot develop that kind of hatred in a vacuum.
Extra Point: This. Was. Terrorism.
This was a hate crime, although most candidates from one of our political parties did not say it. Its cable channel tried to spin these murders as not racial, but as an attack on Christianity itself.
Obviously, it was a hate crime, despite the shameless pandering of most of that party to some whites, who hold some, most, or all of the views of the murderer.
I must admit, in terms of race, I am not completely without bias.
When I graduated high school, in my school’s enrollment of approximately 2,000, there were three African-Americans, with none in my class.
This was clearly domestic terrorism. And I write this as a white man.
This happened at a historic African Methodist Episcopal church, which dates from 1789, almost to the beginning of the republic.
If a black person or a Muslim had murdered nine people during Wednesday night Bible study at my local Methodist church, whose congregation is overwhelmingly white, Faux News would be screaming at the top of its lungs about terrorism. In fact, so would MSNBC.
Below is the federal statute determining whether an act is domestic terrorism:
18 U.S. Code Section 2331 – Definitions
As used in this chapter—…
(5) the term “domestic terrorism” means activities that—
(A) involve acts dangerous to human life that are a violation of the criminal laws of the United States or of any State;
(B) appear to be intended—
(i) to intimidate or coerce a civilian population; (italics mine)
(ii) to influence the policy of a government by intimidation or coercion; or
(iii) to affect the conduct of a government by mass destruction, assassination, or kidnapping; and
(C) occur primarily within the territorial jurisdiction of the United States
I reported. You decide.