Back in February, I posted about how the argument over whether the tabloid trash corporate legacy mainstream news media has become the enemy of the American people has actually made the American people our own worst enemy by focusing more on confirming our own biases and excusing the left's childish behavior since Trump won the election in November.
However, what CNN did recently just proved President Donald Trump right when he tweeted that the news media is the enemy of the American people.
On July 2nd, President Trump tweeted a gif he found online of him attacking Vince McMahon at WrestleMania 23 in Detroit with a CNN logo covering Vince's head. The tabloid trash news media cried foul like they always seem to do when Trump does anything, defending CNN while criticizing Trump for "inciting violence" against journalists, which is a laughable claim. The gif was meant to mock CNN because of recent videos from Project Veritas that showed a CNN producer and CNN political analyst Van Jones separately admitting that the alleged collusion between Donald Trump's campaign and Russia was "bullshit" and a "nothingburger", which it actually was and still is despite Donald Trump Jr.'s meeting with a Russian attorney who falsely claimed to have information on Hillary Clinton's campaign.
Two days later on July 4th(America's birthday), a CNN reporter apparently was able to find out the identity of the person that originally posted the gif on Reddit and allegedly threatened to release his identity if he didn't apologize, which the person did. But in the story, CNN said that they reserved the right to release the person's identity at a later date.
It doesn't matter how old the person in question is(some reports had him as 15 years old, CNN claims he's over 30), CNN, a news organization owned by a multinational media conglomerate, can't just threaten to ruin somebody's life just because the network was butthurt over a joke. And what makes it worse is that if CNN could do that to one person, they, MSNBC, or even Fox News can do this to anybody.
It also shows how pathetic CNN is that they have no problem spending money and putting forth an effort to go after a Reddit user for making jokes about the network, but they can't put forth that same effort when it comes to investigating the corruption in Washington outside of the allegations against the Trump administration.
This blackmail by CNN makes it even harder for the corporate news media to regain the trust of the American people. A survey late last year showed that only 6% of the American people currently trust the news media and Fox News did a survey in Februrary that showed that more people thought President Trump was more honest & trustworthy than the news media is!
I've once posted that once you lose all credibility, it's very hard to regain it. The corporate legacy news media has lost all of its credibility by focusing more on being the first to break news as opposed to being accurate, as well as being too focused on pushing a preconceived agenda as opposed to being fair to both sides of any given argument.
If the role of the news media is to report the news in a credible manner & to see through political agendas to find the truth, then they have failed in that role, and CNN, MSNBC, Fox News, etc. should be replaced by networks that will report news accurately without bias. However, everyone(not just the American people) has to recognize that the news media is biased because we've conditioned ourselves to hear what we want to hear and see what we want to see instead of challenging our beliefs.
At the end of the day, CNN, MSNBC, Fox News, etc. are all for-profit commercial enterprises run by multinational media conglomerates. If we really want them to change, we have to speak out against them. Even if it means cancelling our cable and newspaper subscriptions and just getting our news online.
June 27th, 2017 marked the sixth anniversary of the landmark Brown v. EMA decision by the US Supreme Court. For those that haven't previously read my past LiveJournal posts & for those on Minds.com, here's a quick summary of Justice Antonin Scalia's majority opinion:
-Video games are free speech under the First Amendment
-Video games can NOT be treated differently than any other form of entertainment like movies, TV, or music under the Fourteenth Amendment
-Fake "violent" content in all forms of entertainment is exempt from US obscenity laws
-People under 18 have a First Amendment right to view free speech with or without parental permission as long as the material in question is not judged to be obscene
In previous Brown v. EMA anniversary posts, I posted about:
-how the video game industry left it up to the gaming community(and leaving us high & dry in the process) in debating fake "violent" video games against the news media & the so-called parent advocacy groups (Two part post in 2013)
-how the gaming community started fighting amongst ourselves (2015)
-how the ship sailed on legislation against fake "violent" video games because of the SCOTUS decision, the entertainment industry having the video game industry's back, fake "violent" content in entertainment not being the major issue it once was, politicians having bigger issues to worry about, & the virtual impossibility of overturning a SCOTUS decision or amending the US Constitution (Two part post last year)
To be honest, I didn't think I'd have anything to write about this year. But then, a couple of stories, one that's been ongoing since February & one that came up recently, made me wonder if the focus of the both the moral panic profiteers and the corporate legacy tabloid trash mainstream news media has shifted away from the video game industry(especially since the entertainment industry has been taken over by SJW's) and towards new targets, specifically the Internet.
The recent story that drew my attention was about some group of idiots in Denver trying to put forth a ballot initative to ban the sales of smartphones to people under the age of 13. Really, Denver? Really?
To state the obvious, it's blatantly unconstitutional even if the proposed ban doesn't appear to be completely based on content, as it doesn't just violate the rights of the minors that want a smartphone, it violates the rights of the parents who think that their child is mature enough to handle a smartphone. The argument of the people pushing for the Denver smartphone ban is similar to the one rejected by the late Justice Scalia & the US Supreme Court in Brown v. EMA.
Not to mention the obvious question that is similar to the arguments against fake "violent" video games, and that is "What kid has $500 to buy an iPhone, an Android, or a Samsung Galaxy?"
The ongoing story that shows the news media and the moral panic profiteers' shift to new targets for their fake morality policing to continue playing the "Blame Game" is YouTube's recent mass demonetization of content creators.
Back in mid-Feburary, three reporters for the Wall Street Journal wrote a hit piece targeting YouTube personality Felix Kjellberg, better known as PewDiePie. The reporters watched several of PewDiePie's videos, taking several jokes about Nazis completely out of context, and presented their findings to Disney & Maker Studios, PewDiePie's business partners, before publishing the story. causing both to drop business ties with him & cancel his show on YouTube Red.
I've said in the past that there is a huge difference between being genuinely offended and just looking to be offended, and it's usually the latter. While there was criticism generated against the tabloid trash reporters by PewDiePie's fellow YouTubers and his subscriber base & the reporters' plan basically failed(PewDiePie actually gained at least two million more subscribers since the WSJ article was published on Valentine's Day), the problem with moral busybodies whether their outrage is genuine or not is that if you give them a single inch, they'll want to take a mile or more.
So it should have come as no surprise that about a month later, the same reporters at the Wall Street Journal started going after companies that advertise on YouTube before videos play if those content creators allow ads to play before or during their videos, claiming that their ads appeared before racist & terrorist videos. And as a result, dozens of companies pulled their ads, basically screwing over every content creator on YouTube that isn't backed by a multi-national corporation like Time Warner, Comcast, or Disney.
And the news media wonders why they've been losing the public's trust for so long.
While the advertisers have returned to an extent, the content creators have only gotten half as much ad revenue as they were getting before, at best. And it doesn't help when YouTube is demonetizing videos for any vague reason that they deem not friendly for advertising. Like for example, criticizing Islam & talking about current events like terrorist attacks.
The content creators that aren't backed by multi-national corporate entities have had to rely on their fans donating money through Patreon, GoFundMe, or through YouTube's Superchat format as well as posting videos on other video sites like Vid.me, Vimeo, DailyMotion, Twitch, or Minds to make up the difference.
It appears that YouTube has joined the long list of entertainment mediums that have been attacked by self-appointed "moral guardians" attempting to shove their beliefs down the public's throat. The same "moral guardians" that whined in the past about fake "violent" video games, WWE, rap music, heavy metal music, television, movies, books, William Shakesphere's plays, and so on.
And YouTube has been getting hit in recent months. There was controversy in late April/early May over a YouTuber named DaddyOFive who posted videos of him and his current wife playing pranks on their children, especially on his youngest son, that some felt were child abuse, including a video where his stepson destroyed the kid's tablet and he ended up shoving the child face first into a bookshelf, causing a nosebleed. He ended up privatizing all his videos except for an apology video he made when the story was featured on ABC's Good Morning America. And he also lost custody of his two youngest children to their mother.
Then there is this very recent news of a 21 year old YouTuber who convinced his 19 year old pregnant girlfriend to shoot him with a .50 caliber gun while he held a book to stop the bullet for a prank video. Unless that book was the size of War & Peace or an encyclopedia, a book wasn't going to stop a bullet like that, and it didn't. He died, and now his girlfriend is being charged with 2nd degree manslaughter & reckless discharge of a firearm.
There may be some people trying to blame YouTube for that guy's death, and while YouTube may have some culpability for that particular stunt because of the demonetization caused by the Wall Street Journal(and the Wall Street Journal should get some blame themselves), it seems like they would have tried to do the video anyway to get more views. That guy somehow thought it was a good idea to risk his life for a stupid video and now he's dead because of his own stupidity.
It goes back to personal accountability. The only person ultimately responsible for your actions is you. It doesn't matter what you watch on TV, what you listen to on radio, what books you read, or what video games you play, you still make the conscious choice to commit an action.
But why have the news media & the self-appointed moral guardians shifted its focus from video games to the internet within the last year? The simple reason is that the internet has become a much bigger threat to both the news media & their corporate masters than video games ever were. Fewer people are watching TV shows on the television itself, more people are canceling their cable TV services and getting just internet service(because in some cases, internet access has become cheaper than even the basic cable bundle), more streaming video websites like Netflix, Amazon, YouTube, & Hulu are offering original content in addition to the shows on broadcast & cable TV, & the television audience is getting older while younger people are tuning out and going to the internet.
Even the National Football League's ratings for regular season games were down for the most part last year, even factoring in that it was a Presidential election year and the NFL's ratings usually dip until after election day during those years. LiveJournal user Freezer made a great point about the NFL's ratings dip in October, explaining that the NFL has its own issues to take into account regarding their TV ratings with a diminished quality of play, rules changes that put bigger emphasis on the passing game(even if you have a Hall of Fame QB, if you don't have an average at best defense or an offensive line to protect said QB, you're always going to struggle to make the playoffs), the Thursday night games being unwatchable mainly due to teams only having two days to prepare, and the league's promotion of the Sunday Ticket package exclusive to DirecTV for $100 to $200 a year(it allows you to watch every game instead of just the games in your area) & the Red Zone channel available everywhere for $5 a month extra for a sports package(Red Zone is Sunday Ticket on one channel, but it switches games whenever a team is in a position to score a touchdown).
To paraphrase Freezer, just like the NFL, Disney, Comcast, Time Warner, CBS, Viacom, News Corp, & Discovery want to still scream "The Sky Is Falling" even as they're raking in all that money from Netflix, Amazon, Hulu, & Google.
It also doesn't help that the politicians outside the US, specifically & especially in Europe, are pushing for laws to restrict people's access to the Internet because they don't like that people can speak their minds freely, the one thing they fear the most about America.
Keep fighting the good fight. Just because video games aren't under attack now doesn't mean they won't be in the future. But it's become bigger than just video games.
Also cross-posted to my Minds.com account: https://www.minds.com/newsfeed/728617934926127104
On June 14th, another shooting made national headlines, this time in Alexandria, Virginia, a suburb of Washington, DC. However, unlike other shootings, even though nobody died other than the shooter, one of the victims was relatively well known as the shooter, a 66 year old Bernie Sanders supporter who hated President Donald Trump, targeted Republican legislators as they were practicing for a charity baseball game the next night at Nationals Park against the Democrats.
Rep. Steve Scalise(R-Louisiana*) was wounded along with several other lobbyists & Capitol Police officers. It was said that if Scalise wasn't there or didn't have a 24 hour security detail from being Majority Whip in the House of Representatives(the 3rd biggest job in the House behind the Speaker and the Majority Leader) with him, the shooting would have been a lot worse with many more victims. (As of this writing on June 17th, Scalise was still in critical condition, though his condition was improving to the point where he is awake, after taking a bullet to the hip, damaging internal organs in the process.)
Yet, the shooting brought Republicans & Democrats together, as it could have been the Democrats targeted if Hillary Clinton had won in November instead of Trump. The politicians' talk of unity is growing as the political violence that has become increasingly prevalent in the last year because of the political divide hit very close to home.
The talk of unity should also extend to the American people and the American news media. I've mentioned in the past on how we as Americans have become our own worst enemy. We've become our own worst enemy through our own confirmation bias, our reliance on a news media that seems more beholden to the interests of their multi-national corporate parent companies than the general public's, as well as our tendency to promote hysteria on any given issue.
As I previously pointed out as well, we've lost the spirit of the First Amendment when we have been made to be afraid to speak out against things we disagree with, especially on social media. (It doesn't help when the social media sites like Twitter, Facebook, & even YouTube, which are based and operated in the United States, are actively working with foreign governments like England & Germany to suppress people's criticism of certain topics such as the refugee crisis in Europe.) Again, being free to speak openly about any topic at any time without the fear of persecution or even prosecution allows society to stay civilized and functional.
This is probably the biggest reason we've become our own worst enemy. Because of this attitude, we have lost our civility & have become way too willing to be confrontational with our beliefs to the point of becoming violent towards those who dare to have an opposing viewpoint.
While I firmly believe in personal accountability and that the only person responsible for the shooting in Alexandria, VA on June 14th is the 66 year old Bernie Sanders supporter, I feel like the left-leaning news media, certain SJW's, & even some people in Hollywood must also bear some responsibility for James Hodgkinson's actions.
When reports came out after the Presidential election about people being attacked in the streets and in schools just for supporting Donald Trump's campaign, the left had both a legal & a moral obligation to denounce this behavior as wrong and nip it in the bud. However, not only did the left seemingly support this behavior, they outright encouraged it in some aspects. Here's some more examples:
-in January, CNN pundit Symone Sanders(a former press secretary for Bernie Sanders, no relation to him) defended the behavior of the four black people in Chicago who kidnapped and tortured a white special needs person simply because they hated Donald Trump. Sanders, who is black, two months earlier also mocked the report of a white girl being attacked by a black girl at school for supporting Trump when another panelist called her out for not condemning the violence.
-at the Screen Actors Guild Awards in January, during his acceptance speech, the creator of the Netflix show Stranger Things made reference to "punching bullies in the face" to a standing ovation.
-on Inauguration Day, white nationalist Richard Spencer was sucker punched in the face without provocation while being interviewed. The SJW response to the act was of glorification and justification because white nationalism was conflated with Nazism.
-in early February in Berkeley, CA, Milo Yiannopolous had his planned speech at the University of California-Berkeley canceled because of student protests that turned into full-scale riots led by scumbag far-left groups called By Any Means Necessary and Antifa, which included attacks on perceived Trump supporters. Due to fear of rioting, Ann Coulter had her planned speech in late April canceled as well.
-on the HBO show Real Time with Bill Maher, comedian Jim Jeffries told Piers Morgan to "fuck off" when Morgan was defending Trump from the false comparisons to Adolf Hitler that the far left ideologues have been pushing since Trump announced his Presidential candidacy in June 2015.
-in April, a free speech rally in Berkeley, CA run by Trump supporters turned into a fight with BAMN & Antifa when the far-left groups were allowed to jump barricades. The Trump supporters fought back and ran the Antifa scumbags off despite getting no help from the Berkeley Police Department, who were allegedly ordered to stand down by the scumbag mayor of Berkeley, an alleged supporter of those far-left groups.
Because the left, fueled by their irrational hatred of President Donald Trump, chose to encourage negative behavior at every opportunity, they essentially set the stage for what happened in Alexandria, VA. Steve Scalise's blood is on their hands.
Bridging the divide and keeping the bridge from being burnt down will take time. We can start building that bridge by denouncing violent behavior and groups that support violence against people that have opposing viewpoints and also by encouraging an open dialogue that challenges our views without fear of myopic labels("racist", "sexist", "homophobic", "Islamophobic", etc.) that are nothing more than cheap shots meant as a silencing tactic. Finally, cut the cord. Call Comcast, Cox, Charter, DirecTV, etc. and cancel your cable & satellite service. Just get internet service. CNN, Fox News, MSNBC, ABC, CBS, etc. are owned by multi-national media conglomerates and will maintain their biases until it affects their bottom line.
*- The district Scalise(who's from Metairie) represents covers the southern halves of Terrebonne & Lafourche Parish.
Also cross-posted to my Minds.com account: https://www.minds.com/newsfeed/723547176105418752
Between the Wall Street Journal's libelious hitpieces on PewDiePie & later YouTube and Stephen Colbert's joke about President Donald Trump performing oral sex on Russian President Vladimir Putin on his late night talk show, both sides of the political spectrum have complained recently that comedy is going too far.
There is a difference between being satirical & just being mean-spirited. PewDiePie's jokes about Nazi Germany that were taken completely out of context by three yellow journalists looking to make a name for themselves was satire. Stephen Colbert telling a series of jokes about President Trump culminating with Colbert saying that Trump's mouth was Putin's "cock holster" because Trump abruptly cut off an interview with the host of CBS' Face the Nation(a friend of Colbert's) was mean-spirited.
In the last week, however, one comedian took things so far, it made both sides call her out for her mean-spiritedness.
So Kathy Griffin decided to pose for a photo with her holding a bloody knife in one hand and what appeared to be the severed head of President Trump in the other.
The backlash against her not just from President Trump's supporters & conservatives but also from liberals including Chelsea Clinton(the daughter of former President Bill Clinton & failed Presidential candidate Hillary Clinton, who I'm certain Griffin supported for President in the last election along with 95% of Hollywood) was so intense, not only did she have to apologize within hours of posting the photos on Twitter, she also lost several stand-up comedy gigs, an endorsement deal with some company called Squatty Potty(I had never heard of it, but my brother pointed out to me that the product was on Shark Tank), and her job co-hosting CNN's New Year's Eve coverage with Anderson Cooper(who also disavowed her & her actions). And the Secret Service is said to be investigating her.
However, during a press conference on Friday, Kathy Griffin lost any & all credibility & respect she had left, as well as any goodwill she might have gained through the contrite apology she gave after the initial backlash to the photo by appearing unapologetic despite offering a second apology and even trying to blame President Trump & his family for HER behavior towards him.
Griffin gave a lame excuse for the photoshoot, claiming that it was in response to Trump's comments about then-Fox News reporter Megyn Kelly(who has since moved to NBC) having "blood coming out of her ears & wherever" in regard to Kelly being moderator of the first debate amongst the Republican Party's Presidential candidates that Fox News hosted & aired in July 2015.
So Griffin waited almost two years to respond to some throwaway line that the tabloid trash mainstream news media used as one of many soundbites during the election to make Trump look worse than Hillary Clinton? And then decides the logical response is to make herself look exactly like an ISIS terrorist?
And then as if it wasn't bad enough, she turns around and tries to falsely accuse the Trump family of "trying to ruin her career" because President Trump himself called her sick, his current wife First Lady Melania Trump questioned Griffin's mental health, and his older sons Donald Trump Jr. and Eric Trump also criticized her behavior. Griffin also complained of receiving death threats herself and even falsely accused the Trumps of orchestrating it.
To quote Ron White, Kathy Griffin, the next time you have a thought, let it go. And to paraphrase Chris Jericho, Kathy Griffin, SHUT THE FUCK UP!!!!!!!!!!
You're the one who chose to have photos taken of you holding up what appeared to be the severed head of the President of the United States of America.
You're the one who chose to post those photos on the internet thinking you were going to get a positive response. Well, other than from the Hollywood scumbags who already don't like Trump.
You damn well knew those photos would cause controversy and get you in hot water, because you told the photographer "We may have to move to Mexico" and "We may end up in prison", because those photos could be perceived as a death threat against the President of the United States of America!
WHAT DID YOU FUCKING THINK WAS GOING TO HAPPEN, YOU STUPID BITCH?!
If Kathy Griffin somehow thinks that something that could be and was seen by some people as a death threat to the President of the United States of America was supposed to be seen as a joke, then Melania Trump is right to question her mental health & President Trump is right to call her sick.
President Trump & his family didn't ruin your career, Kathy Griffin. You ruined your career the second you clicked the Tweet button and you fucking know it. Then you burned down what was left of the bridge between you and the American people by falsely blaming Donald Trump for something you did. President Donald Trump didn't screw Kathy Griffin. Kathy Griffin SCREWED Kathy Griffin. You reap what you sow.
Recently, the city of New Orleans started removing four Civil War monuments roughly two years after the New Orleans City Council voted 6-1 to remove the monuments as "public nuisances" and several attempts in the court system failed to overturn the decision. Within the last month, the Liberty Place monument and the statue of Jefferson Davis were removed and placed in a storage facility with the statues of PGT Beauregard & Robert E. Lee still left to eventually come down.
However, was there really any good reason to take down the monuments beyond New Orleans mayor Mitch Landrieu wanting to make a national name for himself as a recent report of a 2020 Presidential bid suggests?
The NFL, the NBA, and the NCAA apparently had no qualms with those monuments when New Orleans was hosting Super Bowls, NBA All-Star Games, Final Fours, & BCS National Championship Games on a semi-regular basis. In fact, the NBA handed New Orleans this past season's All-Star Game after pulling the game from Charlotte because of the North Carolina bathroom bill. And WWE is holding WrestleMania at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome in April 2018 for the second time in five years.
So, why are those statues a problem now if those major sports leagues seemingly didn't have one to begin with? It started with the racially motivated mass shooting at a historic black church in Charleston, SC in which nine black people were murdered by a white supremacist. After the South Carolina state legislature voted to permanently remove the Confederate battle flag from the state Capitol's grounds in the immediate aftermath of the shooting, it seems to me like Mitch Landrieu saw an opportunity to one-up then-South Carolina governor Nikki Haley(a Republican who has since resigned after being appointed by President Donald Trump as US Ambassador to the United Nations). Landrieu, who is a Democrat from a very prominent political dynasty in New Orleans, apparently saw a way to break out of the shadows of his father Moon Landrieu(a former mayor of New Orleans) and his sister Mary Landrieu(a former three term US Senator who lost her re-election bid in 2014 to then-US Rep. Bill Cassidy in a runoff).
So it can be argued that the push to remove the Confederate Civil War monuments was not a grassroots effort by the people of New Orleans, but came from the whims of a power hungry term-limited DemoCuck mayor looking for greener pastures. To paraphrase the late Justice Antonin Scalia in the majority opinion he wrote in Brown v. EMA, it's like Mayor Landrieu's goal in removing the statues was what he thinks the people ought to want as opposed to letting the people decide for themselves.
And knowing of the widespread corruption within politics whether it's in Louisiana, New York City, Chicago, Washington, DC, or even Berkeley, CA, even though we live in a representative republic, were the members of the New Orleans City Council that voted for removing the monuments really representing the people of New Orleans or were they acting on their own self interests?
When you give self-appointed moral guardians such as the Parents Television Council & the Wall Street Journal(see the WSJ's recent attacks on PewDiePie & YouTube) an inch, they're going to want a mile or more in return. And the racist black supremacist groups supporting the removal of the statues want that mile as they want the statues of President Andrew Jackson & Bienville taken down as well as wanting Tulane University & Touro Hospital to change their names.
And as such, the Louisiana state legislature is looking at bills to keep other monuments from being taken down to draw a line somewhere. The decision to take down the monuments is increasingly unpopular within Louisiana & outside New Orleans as a recent survey by LSU showed that over 70% wanted the statues to remain.
Regardless of the reasons why the statues were even put up in the first place(I tend to think it was as an act of defiance stemming from the Southern states being treated like conquered territories after the Civil War by the Radical Republicans in the US Congress going against the plans of President Abraham Lincoln after he was assassinated by John Wilkes Booth*), removing them will not change history and also won't change what's in the hearts & minds of individuals.
And if the monuments really are nothing more than "consolation prizes", then there's no point in people celebrating the removal of the statues. Geaux to hell, Mitch Landrieu.
*-which in itself begs the question, if the South was treated better than they were after the Civil War, would those statues even had been built in the first place or would there even be as much pride in the Confederate battle flag as there has been? Also, on that same thread, if Germany had been treated better than they were after World War I, would Adolf Hitler have risen to power as quickly as he did?
I mentioned in a previous post on LiveJournal
about how the Republican Senators' refusal to even consider President Barack Obama's appointment of Merrick Garland to the US Supreme Court after Justice Antonin Scalia's death was the result of the GOP betting on both winning the White House and keeping control of the Senate to give their party's nominee(which ended up being Donald Trump) the chance to replace Scalia with a similiarly conservative judge to maintain the ideological balance of the Supreme Court. And Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell ended up winning that bet when Trump won the election and the GOP maintained control of the Senate.
With Neil Gorsuch's confirmation and swearing in, the Court is back to full strength and to its 4-4-1 split, keeping the Court center-right as opposed to a center-left shift.
While the Republicans started the fight by not giving Garland hearings, by attempting to block Gorsuch's nomination with a filibuster to keep the Senate from calling for a final up-or-down vote where Gorsuch needed 60 votes to be confirmed, the Democrats allowed the GOP to finish the fight. The GOP Senators voted to change the rules to make it where Supreme Court appointments now only need 51 votes for confirmation instead of 60 votes, and Gorsuch was confirned by a vote of 54-45(1 GOP Senator was unable to vote due to having back surgery; 3 Democrats voted for Gorsuch in part because they face re-election bids in states that Trump won decisively in the 2016 election).
The Democrats made a huge mistake in filibustering Gorsuch, regardless of whose bright idea it was to filibuster. Senate Minority Leader Sen. Chuck Schumer, DNC chairman Tom Perez, and any Democrats that agreed to filibuster Gorsuch are idiots for having done so.
The Democrats claimed that filibustering Neil Gorsuch wasn't about getting some form of payback against the Republicans for their treatment of Merrick Garland, but it appeared that it was indeed payback from last year. Not to mention that the Democrats and their supporters are still butthurt over Trump winning the election. The Democrats allowed their increasingly far-left ideology to get the best of them.
Even if Neil Gorsuch is going to be nothing more than a carbon copy of Antonin Scalia or worse than Scalia or Clarence Thomas as the Democrats claimed, then it wouldn't change the ideological balance of the Supreme Court one bit. There would still be four conservatives on the court with four liberals and one moderate that leans conservative.
The filibuster shows that the Democrats were not as confident in their claims that Gorsuch would not have gotten the 60 votes needed even though more than 40 Democratic Senators publicly stated that they weren't going to vote for Gorsuch. They knew that there were some moderate Democrats up for re-election in 2018 and at least three of them did say that they were voting to confirm Gorsuch(and those same three did). They also knew the Republicans threatened to use the so-called "nuclear option" to change the rules for Supreme Court appointments from 60 votes needed to 51. President Trump even told McConnell & the other GOP Senators to change the rules if they had to.
If the Democrats were confident that Gorsuch would not win confirmation, then they didn't need to filibuster. But by filibustering, they gave the GOP reason to change the rules, thus making the Democrats look like they were the ones unwilling to compromise instead of the Republicans. Perception is reality.
Not only that, by filibustering when there really was no need to do so, the Democrats made it so much easier for President Trump's future appointments to the Supreme Court to join the bench. They made it easier for Trump to replace aging Justices like Ruth Bader Ginsberg, Anthony Kennedy, or even Stephen Breyer, potentially pushing SCOTUS further to the right with 7 conservatives to 2 liberals. It stands to reason that there is now some internal pressure on Clarence Thomas to retire so Trump can go ahead and replace him on the bench. By choosing to fight Gorsuch's nomination, the Democrats basically forfeited any future fights against replacing Ginsberg or Kennedy.
Not only did Chuck Schumer drop the ball, moderate Democrats also dropped the ball by not challenging Schumer and staying silent when the party decided to filibuster Gorsuch. Moderate Democrats should have been telling Schumer and other far left Democrats that it was a bad idea to filibuster Neil Gorsuch.
Moderate Democrats need to start fighting the extreme far-left within the party if the Democrats expect to regain a foothold in American politics. The Democrats have lost almost 1,000 seats in the fifty state legislatures since Obama became President. There is not enough people on the far left or the far right to win an election in the United States.
The Democrats have not learned anything from their loss to Trump. The far-left extreme faction within the Democratic Party have pushed moderates and even regular liberals to the other side by refusing to compromise and work with the other side.
The recent confirmation of President Donald Trump's appointment of Neil Gorsuch to the US Supreme Court to replace the late Antonin Scalia continues to show that there may be no end in sight to the partisanship in politics.
Scoot recently posted a blog on WWL.com
about President Donald Trump's recent tweet calling the news media, specifically CNN, msnbc, ABC, & CBS, "the enemy of the American people," asking if it was the news media or President Trump that is the enemy of the American people.
I did tweet back to Scoot that it was both, but by continuing to let our own biases divide us, we the American people are becoming our own worst enemy.
But the more I thought about it, the more I agree with President Trump about the news media.
I have brought up on numerous occasions how the news media on both sides promote negative stories because they know people will tune in to those stories and believe what they see, especially when it comes to laying blame for society's ills. Even though I would have agreed with Trump about the news media anyway based on my own criticisms of the news media, President Trump is really a product of our divided society, not the cause of it as the SJWs would have you believe.
The problem with the news media is that it's not as independent as it once was. A few years ago, a study came out claiming that the 7 biggest media conglomerates(Discovery, Disney, Time Warner, Comcast, News Corp, CBS, & Viacom) own 95% of what we watch on TV(but in reality, it's around 62% than 95%). And according to Wikileaks through the Podesta DNC emails and OpenSecrets, some of those media companies donated millions of dollars to Hillary Clinton's campaign. When the news media's corporate masters have a vested interest in what they cover, it's highly improbable for the news media to remain unbiased.
The news media will always have a liberal or conservative bias to it as long as we continue to seek out the media that most reflects our own views. While it doesn't help when both sides call each other "fake news" and they don't even try to hide those biases anymore, the mainstream news media put themselves in that position by being so biased that only 6% of the American people even trust them according to a recent survey.
And it don't help the news media's cause when they're caught misrepresenting facts or outright making false statements about the subjects of their stories. We have the freedom of the press in our First Amendment, but that doesn't mean you can defame someone because you don't agree with their political views.
Another problem is the left's continued refusal to acknowledge or even accept that President Trump won the election fair and square.
The left continues to behave like spoiled, petulant children in their protests over Trump's victory, whether it was the so-called "Women's March" the day after Trump's inauguration that was really nothing more than a leftist feel-good festival* in the words of Blaire White, the violent riots at Trump's inauguration and at University of California-Berkeley, or the recent hijackings of town hall meetings organized by Republican members of Congress.
You can yell "You work for us" all you want at these town hall meetings, but it's your behavior there that determines whether your Congressperson or Senator will even listen to your grievances. Especially if you're going to ignore their answers to your questions or get yourself thrown out of the meeting by being a disruptive jerk.
And while your childish behavior gets publicity through the news media, it continues to turn off potential allies. The far left has already pushed classic liberals and moderates into supporting President Trump with this McCarthyist "with us or against us" mentality, and that's going to continue as long as the far left continues to justify its behavior.
Basically, if you act like a child, you get treated like one. Act your age, not your shoe size. You've become your own worst enemy by behaving this way.
*-When one of the march's main organizers supports Sharia law, which is incompatible with women's rights, let alone Western civilization, the protestors lose their credibility.
In my post-election essay on how Donald Trump won the election and how Hillary Clinton blew it worse than the Cleveland Indians blew their 3 games to 1 lead in the World Series the week before the election, I posted this at the end:
"It's funny how people were criticizing Donald Trump and his supporters for not wanting to accept the results of the Presidential election if he lost the election, yet people are protesting and refusing to accept the results of the election because Donald Trump won the election convincingly. It's also sad and it's pathetic. What's also sad and pathetic is that these protestors are claiming to be protesting against "hate" when these protests have stemmed from their hatred of the President-elect.
This is the UNITED States of America. Let's act like we are deserving of that name. Let's quit using the election results to justify staying divided and acting so territorial with your political ideologies just because your Presidential candidate lost the election. We are all Americans first, everything else is second. The world is watching, and they are watching you behave like 5 year old children throwing temper tantrums in Wal-Mart because you didn't get the toy or candy bar you wanted.
So let's become an United States of America that we can be proud of. Accept the results of this year's Presidential election and move on with your life."
It's been close to six weeks after Donald Trump won the Presidential Election, and the whining from the left is still going strong, whether it's the SJW's, the Hollywood celebrities or even the political establishment itself being a bunch of sore losers. It'd be funny if it wasn't so damned sad and pathetic. At least they're no longer protesting in the streets. Progress?
While President-Elect Donald Trump does carry the burden of uniting the country, Hillary Clinton's supporters still carry their own responsibility of keeping an open mind towards Trump as Hillary did say in her concession speech the morning after the election and work with Trump's supporters as Americans even if they disagree. However, while Trump has arguably kept up his end of the bargain of bringing the country back together(meeting with President Obama two days after his victory to start the transition, and even having multiple meetings with Mitt Romney, one of his biggest detractors during the election, about being Secretary of State, a job Trump ultimately picked ExxonMobil CEO Rex Tillerson for), Clinton supporters have failed the country by willfully refusing to give Trump an open mind.
Oh, yes, the left have kept themselves busy over the last six weeks, blaming everyone and everything other than Hillary Clinton for her defeat at the hands of Donald Trump.
Hillary Clinton bears the ultimate responsibility for her losing the election, not third party candidates like Gary Johnson & Jill Stein, not the people that voted for Johnson, Stein, or other third party candidates like Evan McMullin, and not FBI Director James Comey for temporarily re-opening the investigation into Hillary Clinton's private e-mail server while she was Secretary of State in the final two weeks of the election because the FBI found e-mails involving her in an unrelated investigation of the estranged husband of one of her advisers.
And no, President Obama, it is also not Fox News' fault Hillary lost. Or Russia's fault. Or "Fake News" sites. Or even the Electoral College's fault.
Being a sports fan who has my favorite teams, the Hillary Clinton supporters sound no different than some of us sports fans after our favorite team loses. I should know, I've done my share of that numerous times, moreso when LSU plays Alabama. The Republicans blamed everyone other than Mitt Romney for his loss to Obama in 2012, and now the Democrats are doing the same with Hillary's defeat.
The media didn't determine the outcome of the election. What happened on November 8th was that many Americans in the middle of the country away from the shining seas demanded change, not caring what anybody living in Los Angeles and New York thought, while the Democrats either became complacent and chose not to vote thinking Hillary Clinton had it in the bag or decided to vote for Donald Trump or a third party candidate instead or didn't vote at all because they didn't like Hillary Clinton.
It's Hillary Clinton's own fault that she lost six states worth a total of 99 electoral votes to Donald Trump. Six states that voted for Barack Obama in the last two elections, including Michigan, Wisconsin, and Pennsylvania, which the Republican Party candidate hadn't won since Ronald Reagan's landslide victory over Walter Mondale in 1984. It's Hillary's own fault she took the American working class for granted and allowed Donald Trump to swoop in and win their votes.
It's Hillary Clinton's own fault that she had more political baggage than Trump did and that she wasn't as popular or even charismatic as her husband still is. It's also her own fault that she refused to take responsibility for her actions, which didn't help her with voters.
It's Hillary Clinton's own fault that she didn't provide a platform beyond "I'm not Trump" and "I'm a woman" and allowed herself to be dragged away from the center, making Trump appear as the more moderate candidate between the two.
It's Hillary Clinton's own fault that she was the most unpalatable and unlikable Democratic Party Presidential candidate since Al Gore, with only Trump having a worse unfavorability rating during the campaign even though Trump's supporters were much more enthusiastic about Trump than Hillary's supporters ever were for her.
And it's Hillary Clinton's own fault that she and the DNC thought that Donald Trump would be the easiest candidate to beat out of all the Republican Party's nominees even though Trump's Q rating topped hers because he built his brand longer and more successfully than she built hers.
But the Democrats still chose to give her the nomination over the more popular Bernie Sanders. And Bernie Sanders still chose to support her even though the DNC e-mails released by Wikileaks showed that the DNC actively screwed him out of the nomination, burying him like she was Triple-H. But no, it's not Hillary's fault that she lost, it's everyone else's fault for rejecting her, Obama's, and the Democrats' ideology. And it's gotten really pathetic watching the left continue to make excuses for Hillary's shortcomings. And it also shows a completely ridiculous lack of respect for the electoral process.
For example, Jill Stein asked for recounts in Wisconsin, Michigan, and Pennsylvania, states that Donald Trump won to clinch the Presidency for him, complaining about voter fraud, yet she didn't ask for recounts in Minnesota and New Hampshire, states Hillary Clinton won. Nor did she ask for recounts in Illinois, California, or New York, states Clinton decisively won where political corruption is rampant. While Wisconsin did recount its votes(even though they probably already recounted them before certifying the results) and found that Trump gained over 100 extra votes, judges in Michigan and Pennslvania rejected attempts to recount votes in those states mainly because Stein barely got 1% of the vote.
It's gotten more ridiculous as President Obama is now trying to claim that the CIA told his administration that their intelligence showed Russia and Russian President Vladimir Putin tried to interfere in the election on Donald Trump's behalf. The Obama Administration pushed this narrative a month before the election, but everybody was probably too busy focusing on the Access Hollywood tape to even notice.
The intel is only as good as the source it comes from. This statement isn't a knock on the CIA itself, but rather on the sources they gather the intel from.
How does the CIA know its intel is genuine? How do they know that their sources in Russia aren't giving them false intel for making those assumptions? How does Obama know if Putin isn't playing him and the CIA by providing false intel based on the assumption that Obama and Hillary Clinton would just blame Putin for her losing to Trump fair & square? How do we know that China and Saudi Arabia didn't try to interfere in the election themselves on Clinton's behalf? And can we the American people even trust anything Obama even says about the election at this point, especially when he and his wife both openly campaigned for Clinton and he's apparently still bitter over them losing?
And while that's going on, the left are apparently trying to get the members of the Electoral College to reject the will of the people in a final desperate bid to keep Donald Trump from occupying the White House for the next four years.
It's getting beyond pathetic and it's become disgraceful. America made its choice on Election Day. Everyone that ran for President knew the rules going in. The popular vote of each state determines how the electoral college votes and the first candidate to reach 270 electoral votes wins the election. Kind of like a football game. It's not Donald Trump's fault that Hillary Clinton fumbled six states to him and made so many mistakes running her campaign, allowing him to win the election with 305 electoral votes. It doesn't really matter how many votes Hillary got across the country(and her popular vote total is just as artifically inflated as Katy Perry's breasts) as she couldn't win where it mattered just like Al Gore in 2000.
It's like retroactively changing the rules of the game immediately after the Super Bowl ended just because the team favored by the NFL and/or Las Vegas bookmakers didn't win the game. Presidential elections should never be treated like the Kentucky Derby and people shouldn't put money down on who the polls tell them will win.
The bottom line is that Trump won the election fair and square, and it's pathetic that people are still bitching about it six weeks after the election even though Clinton was a worse person than Trump. That's saying something.
I'll finish this essay with something Scoot wrote in an open letter to his listeners on his blog on WWL.com which was posted on Election Day:
"My hope is that America unites after this divisive election and I, too, hope that our audience unites with me and the show. Presidential elections have always yielded only one winner and this year will be no exception.
No one likes when the candidate they so strongly supported in conversations, calling radio talk shows or in conversations with friends and family loses the election. You don’t have to be happy about that, but what we should do as Americans is accept that one side wins and the other side loses.
Accepting the winner does not mean you have lost your values or political ideology – it simply means you understand the system in which we all participate. Accept the advice you would give to the other side if your candidate wins, and that is to understand that respecting the outcome of an election in America doesn’t change who you are – it only means you have the courage to face defeat without feeling defeated. And you work hard to support the next candidate the most reflects your views."
The Left Have Only Themselves To Blame For Donald Trump Becoming President of the United States
So, Donald Trump did indeed beat all the odds like he was SuperCena and won the 2016 Presidential election, beating Hillary Clinton in what some people are calling the biggest upset in US political history and becoming the first member of the WWE Hall of Fame to become President of the United States. And it wasn't just that Trump won the Presidency, he won it decisively. He won the electoral college 305-233, even though Clinton won the popular vote by over a million votes, roughly double the margin of victory Al Gore had over George W. Bush in the popular vote in 2000! Guess they finally counted all the votes of the illegal immigrants and the dead people in Chicago, New York City, Los Angeles, Denver, Seattle, Portland, San Francisco, and Albuquerque.
Trump won despite everything being against him. In fact, even sports results that were considered reliable indicators of how the election would turn out were in favor of Hillary. The Washington Redskins won their last home game before the election(a 27-20 win over the Philadelphia Eagles on October 16th)*, Alabama beat LSU 10-0 on Nov. 5th**, and the Chicago Cubs won the World Series in a thrilling Game 7 on Nov. 2nd, beating the Cleveland Indians 8-7 in 10 innings***.
And Hillary Clinton, her supporters, the Democrats, the mainstream news media, the political establishment, Hollywood celebrities, and even the social just us warriors only have themselves to blame for Donald Trump's victory on November 8th, because the left took everything and everyone in America for granted.
The left basically assumed that Hillary Clinton was destined to win, especially after Donald Trump won the Republican nomination. The left assumed that the same people that voted for Barack Obama twice would also vote for Hillary. The left assumed that people, especially women, would vote for Hillary Clinton simply because she's a woman and make more history because she would be the first female US President. The left assumed that by attacking Trump on his negative image, it would somehow negate Hillary's own equally negative image by making him look even worse than Hillary did.
Assumptions are the mother of all fuck-ups and the left made the wrong assumptions, grossly underestimating the mood of the American people. And there are several reasons why Hillary Clinton lost a Presidential election she was expected to win.
Hillary Clinton lost because she couldn't get as many Democrats to vote for her as they did for Barack Obama in 2012 & 2008, especially in states that Obama won in both 2008 & 2012: Pennsylvania, Ohio, Michigan, Wisconsin, Florida, & Iowa. She took it for granted that she would win those states. Or she focused too much on Florida and Ohio(as well as on solid Republican states like Arizona and Georgia) that she ignored Wisconsin and Michigan for the most part. It cost her big time.
Losing Ohio as early as she did was the first domino to fall. Losing Florida was the next domino and it really damaged her chances of winning. Even though she got more votes in the Miami area than Obama did in 2012, Trump got more votes in the rural areas of the state, especially in the northern panhandle around Pensacola and Tallahassee as well as in central Florida. What also doomed her in Florida was the Cuban-Americans that escaped from Fidel Castro's tyranny who were very upset that President Obama was attempting to end the trade embargo on Cuba and that Obama even met with Castro.
What really clinched the Presidency for Trump was Pennsylvania. Pennsylvania is seen as Alabama sandwiched inbetween Philadelphia and Pittsburgh. Clinton had a very big lead in the state early, but as the votes were being counted, Trump was gaining ground on her, and eventually surpassed her with 80% of the vote counted. When the media realized that all the votes in Philadelphia and Pittsburgh had already been counted at that point, that's when the realization set in that Trump had won. Especially after the Associated Press called the state for him at around 12:40am CT Wednesday morning. Then at 1:30am, the AP called Wisconsin for Trump and declared him the next President as CNN began reporting that Hillary called him to concede.
Hillary Clinton lost because Democrats just weren't as excited for her candidacy as they were for Obama's in 2008 and his re-election bid in 2012. Even though she won the Democratic party's nomination, it was only after she got an unforeseen and unexpectedly strong challenge from Bernie Sanders. Sanders had the grassroots crowd while the Democratic political establishment favored Clinton. Even though Sanders campaigned for Hillary after the Democratic Convention, most of his supporters refused to follow suit. They either decided not to vote, voted for a third party(most famously Susan Sarandon voting for Jill Stein), or even voted for Donald Trump.
Hillary Clinton lost because fewer minorities voted for her than they did for Obama in 2012. In fact, turnout among black voters was down from 2012. And not only that, even though more women voted for her than they did Trump(53% to 41%), fewer women voted for her than expected. And think about this: A slight majority of white women(52%) voted for Donald Trump!
Hillary Clinton lost because she was seen as part of the Washington political establishment that Americans were getting increasingly fed up with because they felt like no one in Washington was even listening to them. They felt like Obama was (Brother) Nero playing a fiddle while Rome burned and Hillary would take over playing that fiddle. A caller to Scoot in the Afternoon on WWL radio months ago said that Trump scared her, but she was more afraid of the status quo. Americans put more faith in a billionaire businessman because he was a political outsider and they were afraid of nothing changing or things getting worse under Hillary Clinton. Donald Trump was seen by many Americans as a bigger embodiment of change than Hillary Clinton was.
I made an observation in my essay about whether fake "violent" media would even be a campaign issue in the election(turns out my instincts were right and it wasn't) that I felt like Hillary Clinton was trying to avoid making the same mistakes Al Gore made in 2000 along with whatever mistakes she made when she lost the Democratic nomination to Barack Obama in 2008. However, it seems like she fell into the same trap Gore did in 2000. While Gore fell into a trap when he distanced himself from President Bill Clinton after the Monica Lewinsky scandal when Gore actually needed Clinton to champion him, Hillary ended up falling into the same trap by embracing President Obama and his policies.
In 2000, the Republicans made it more about Bush vs. Clinton than Bush vs. Gore and talked about how Bush would bring morality back to the White House after Clinton was impeached by the House over the Lewinsky scandal, but was acquitted by the Senate, mostly along party lines. And since Gore distanced himself from Clinton and also started campaigning against fake "violent" media, he was seen as being no different than George W. Bush.
In this election, it seemed like it wasn't just Trump vs. Hillary, but also Trump vs. Obama and Trump vs. the World while the GOP was just along for the ride. Hillary campaigned that she was going to continue Obama's policies while Trump campaigned that he was going to end those policies.
Even though President Obama championed Hillary and he and First Lady Michelle Obama campaigned for her, it's like the Democrats that voted for Obama the last two elections just weren't as enthusiastic about Hillary's campaign as they were his campaigns. More people attended Donald Trump's rallies than they did Hillary's rallies, even though Hillary had so much support from Hollywood celebrities like Katy Perry, Beyonce, Jay-Z, Bruce Springsteen, and Jon Bon Jovi and sports stars like LeBron James. Donald Trump had little, if any, support from Hollywood celebrities or even Nashville celebrities. And Trump, being a major celebrity in his own right, didn't need them.
Hillary Clinton lost because the mainstream news media focused more on scandal and gossip than on the issues. The left-leaning news media outlets thought that by promoting more negative stories about Donald Trump(like the Access Hollywood tape that NBC leaked) while sweeping negative stories about Hillary Clinton under the rug(like Wikileaks' release of hacked Democratic National Committee e-mails), it'd make more people support Hillary. All it really did was solidify the public's growing perception that the news media is biased against conservatives, and to use one of Hillary's campaign speeches in a ironic way, it offered a dog whistle to Hillary's biggest and most hateful supporters, the SJWs being the most hateful and the Hollywood celebrities being the biggest names.
The left spent more time complaining about how Trump was unqualified, how he was a "racist", a "misogynist", a "homophobe"(which is a blatant lie since he came off as more pro-LGBT than Hillary Clinton ever did), an "Islamophobe"(what exactly is irrational about fearing an unreformed ideology that promotes murder of non-bellevers and LGBT people?), and calling Trump's supporters "racists", "misogynists", "homophobes", and "Islamophobes" just for supporting Trump, while flatout ignoring Hillary's own actions. Hillary herself called Trump's supporters "a basket of deplorables". While she later retracted that statement, the damage was done. People hated seeing the hypocrisy of the left, especially the Hollywood elite and the SJWs.
SJWs like Steve Shives, Laci Green, Anita Sarkessian, Jonathan McIntosh, Bob Chipman, Ana Kasparian, Cenk Uyger, etc. and Hollywood celebrities like Christopher Titus and Nancy Lee Grahn among others knowingly or unknowingly created a culture where, by passing judgment on people and industries, they were making people afraid to be judged just for supporting a certain person or an industry these SJWs don't like. On Election Day, the people smelled what these SJWs were cooking, took a few bites, and promptly puked it back in their faces.
Point is, the left took it for granted that Hillary would win and acted like 1)Trump had no chance of winning and 2)the American people's valid criticisms of Hillary didn't matter. But the American people's voice was heard loud and clear on Election Day and Trump won the election.
Since Trump won, however, while both Hillary Clinton and President-Elect Donald Trump as well as President Obama have called for the people to accept and respect the results of the election and come together as Americans, some idiots(mainly Millenials) decided to protest the results, as if their whining will change the results of the election.
Sorry, crybabies. Donald Trump won the election fair and square, and won it in convincing fashion. Donald Trump will be the President of the United States, therefore, he IS YOUR President whether you like it or not. He will be OUR President. Deal with it.
American parents, these protests against Trump's victory are your fault. This is what happens when you coddle your children, when schools and youth sports leagues give out participation trophies to everyone, and when some youth sports leagues refuse to keep score in games played to protect children's fragile feelings. As Razorfist put it, you have fostered a generation of Faberge eggs.
I wonder how many of these protestors actually voted in the election. While I have said that not voting is a form of protest, if you chose not to vote because you were so sure that Hillary Clinton was going to win, then I honestly think that you have no room to complain about the results at all. And these high school students that walked out of their classrooms to protest Trump's victory don't exactly have room to complain about the election results either as 95% of them aren't even old enough to vote!
Former President George W. Bush actually didn't vote for President, but he still voted since there were other races going on besides President. There were races for US Senate, US House of Representatives(which all seats are up for re-election every two years), and various local races and ballot measures such as judgeships, city councils, amendments to state constitutions, etc. If you didn't want any part of the Presidential election, that's fine, but there were other races you could have voted in and possibly made a difference.
Also, some idiot on Twitter suggested that California should pull a Brexit and secede from the United States over Trump's victory, except there are two major problems with that:
1) The Democratic Party would never win the Presidency again, since California carries the most electoral votes in the United States and the Democrats consistently win that state in almost every Presidential election. And the inverse is also true with the Republican Party if Texas ever seceded again like they've threatened to do in the past. Hell, there were calls to do so after the Brexit vote was successful.
2) After the Civil War, the US passed a law that requires any state wishing to secede from the US to have unanimous consent from all the other states.
So, yeah, that ain't gonna happen.
It's funny how people were criticizing Donald Trump and his supporters for not wanting to accept the results of the Presidential election if he lost the election, yet people are protesting and refusing to accept the results of the election because Donald Trump won the election convincingly. It's also sad and it's pathetic. What's also sad and pathetic is that these protestors are claiming to be protesting against "hate" when these protests have stemmed from their hatred of the President-elect.
This is the UNITED States of America. Let's act like we are deserving of that name. Let's quit using the election results justify staying divided and acting so territorial with your political ideologies just because your Presidential candidate lost the election. We are all Americans first, everything else is second. The world is watching, and they are watching you behave like 5 year old children throwing temper tantrums in Wal-Mart because you didn't get the toy or candy bar you wanted.
So let's become an United States of America that we can be proud of. Accept the results of this year's Presidential election and move on with your life.
*-The Redskins rule goes that if the Washington Redskins win their last home game prior to the Presidential election, the party in control of the White House wins the election, but if the Redskins lose, that party loses the election. However, this indicator hasn't been as reliable as it once was since the rule failed in three of the last four elections: this election, in 2004(Redskins lost, but George W. Bush still won re-election), and in 2012(Redskins lost, but Barack Obama still won re-election). Actually, this might be the first time the Redskins won their last home game before the election, but the party in control of the White House still lost the election!
**-Since 1984, if LSU beats Alabama, the Republicans win the Presidential election, but if Alabama wins, the Democrats win the White House. However, while I heard about this months ago, I started having my doubts about its reliability when I found out before Election Day that half the time the LSU-Alabama game was played after the election. Plus, the crooked SEC referees usually find a way to screw LSU out of a victory because when you're a SEC team playing football against Alabama, you have to play both the Crimson Tide and the referees.
***-This one I heard about on the radio on Election Day. If a World Series goes the full seven games in a Presidential election year, if the American League team wins, the Republican wins the election, but if the National League team wins, the Democrat wins.
I mentioned in my recent three part essay on the bizarre state of the 2016 Presidential Election how President Obama was wrong for telling Steve Harvey on Harvey's radio show that voting for a third party candidate or not voting at all was no different than voting for Donald Trump.
I find that statement to be ignorant and ridiculous as it reeks of taking the right to vote for granted and it continues to feed the political divide that plagues the United States(and the world). Even though President Obama is pushing for people to go out and vote, he's still shilling for fellow Democrat Hillary Clinton to be his successor. And I understand that even though I think it's wrong to tell people that they're wasting their vote if they vote for someone other than the person you want to see win.
So when the Huffington Post reports that actress Susan Sarandon(who I think won an Oscar) elected to endorse Green Party candidate Jill Stein for President(after supporting Bernie Sanders for the Democratic nomination) over Hillary Clinton, and other Hollywood Democrats who are supporting Hillary Clinton for President criticized Sarandon for her decision, like General Hospital star Nancy Lee Grahn(who's won a Daytime Emmy)*, because "it does nothing to help against Donald Trump", even though Sarandon isn't supporting Trump, it bugs me:
So even though I like and respect the genre of daytime soap operas, and have watched General Hospital off and on over the years, I still am going to criticize someone if I think they're wrong, even if they are much more famous than I will ever hope to be.
Even if Nancy Lee Grahn didn't parrot President Obama's suggestion that voting for someone other than Hillary Clinton was a vote for Donald Trump, the implication was still there.
I'll reiterate what I said about President Obama: No, Mrs. Grahn, voting for Jill Stein is not a vote for Donald Trump, a vote for Jill Stein is a vote for Jill Stein. No need to read anything else into it. While it's a vote Hillary Clinton is not getting, it's still a vote Donald Trump's not getting. So it actually does do something against Donald Trump even if you think it somehow does nothing against a "psychopath".
Susan Sarandon is not wasting her vote, contrary to your opinion. The right to vote is the ultimate form of freedom. If Sarandon was so dissatisified with Hillary Clinton that she thinks that Jill Stein would do a better job as President than Clinton would(or Donald Trump, for that matter) and she feels that voting for Clinton would compromise her beliefs, that is not only Susan Sarandon's right as a citizen of the United States, it's also her responsibility.
By voting for Jill Stein, Sarandon is basically speaking out against the Democratic Party for giving her(and her fellow Democrats) a candidate that she didn't want to vote for. Hillary Clinton is not entitled to every Democrat's vote just because she happens to be the Democrats' nominee for President, whether it's Susan Sarandon's vote or any other registered Democrat's. It is not Susan Sarandon's fault that she wasn't given any good reason to vote for Hillary Clinton, it's Hillary's fault and it's also Tim Kaine's, President Obama's, Michelle Obama's, Elizabeth Warren's, Vice President Joe Biden's(who is still able to walk around after kicking himself in the ass so many times for not running for President this year), and even Bernie Sanders' fault.
And for the record, Pharrell Williams, Hillary Clinton is also not entitled to every woman's vote just because she's a woman. In fact, even though I'm a man, I find that statement to be a fucking insult to women! Even if that was not his intent, by saying that every woman should vote for Hillary Clinton just because she's a woman, Pharrell Williams basically insulted their intelligence. He may as well have said, "I don't trust you to make your own decisions."
Also, it's pathetic seeing Hillary use celebrities like Pharrell, LeBron James, Beyonce, & Jay-Z to try to get people to vote for her. It shows one of two things: a lack of self-confidence or over-confidence. Ever seen the episode of The Simpsons where Bart ran for Class President? He lost because nobody remembered to go vote. Hillary's Bart Simpson right now.
The point is, be informed. Don't vote for someone because of their gender, their skin color, or their party affilation like they're Crips or Bloods. Vote for who you believe is the best person for the job. The female vote, the black vote, the white vote, the male vote, etc. is equal in its diversity.
I get that virtually everyone in Hollywood or associated with Hollywood either is or pretends to be a liberal Democrat, whether they're a studio executive, an actor, an actress, a director, a writer, a producer, a hairdresser, or even the guys that build the sets. I get that virtually everyone in Hollywood has to publicly support a Democrat for President even if they don't personally like that person and even if that Democrat supported censorship of their medium in the past** or risk getting blackballed from working there like R. Lee Ermey(Sgt. Hartman in Full Metal Jacket) allegedly was.
But anybody acting like your vote only matters if you vote for a candidate they're supporting is wrong, regardless of how famous they are.
And by the way, Mrs. Grahn, if you're going to use the word "fuck" unedited in a later tweet about not giving a fuck about Hillary's e-mails, then have the courage to use the word "pussy" unedited:
And one more thing, as it turns out, according to Britain's ambassador to Uzbekistan, the DNC's e-mails were hacked by someone in Washington, DC, so Russia actually might not have anything to do with those real e-mails at all. Key words are "might not":
But, hey, at least the Cubs finally won a World Series in our lifetimes. Safe to say, we've almost seen it all.
*-Comparing an Oscar to a Daytime Emmy is like comparing a Rolls-Royce to a Honda.
**-Like Hillary Clinton did(even filing legislation against the video game industry in 2005 that went nowhere) and Al Gore and Joe Lieberman even made it a campaign issue in 2000. And Hollywood still gave those jackasses money for their campaigns.
The Wacky 2016 Presidential Election
Part 3: Is South Park right about neither Trump nor Clinton wanting to be President? And Why We're All To Blame For The Shape of The Election
South Park has been hitting the nail on the head about some issues in the past two seasons. But are Trey Parker and Matt Stone correct in pointing out how it seems like neither Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton even want to be President? I think they are right.
It does seem like every time Trump or Clinton pulls ahead in the polls, something they or their supporters do causes them to be pulled back into the margin of error of the polls(if those polls are even legit to begin with*). Scoot pointed out how pathetic the Presidential race had become when both Trump and Clinton's images are so highly negative that they've both figured out that the only way either one of them can win is to make the other person look even worse than they are. In fact, both Clinton and Trump are lucky that they're not running against different candidates other than each other because if they were running against different candidates, they would be losing badly. For example, if Bernie Sanders or Vice President Joe Biden were the Democratic nominee, they'd be well ahead of Trump. Or if another moderate Republican like John Kasich, Marco Rubio, or even Jeb Bush were the Republican nominee, they'd be well ahead of Hillary. A extremely right wing Republican like Ted Cruz, Rick Santorum, or Bobby Bitchcakes Jindal would have no chance against Clinton. Even Hillary would appear more moderate next to them.
Hillary lost ground when she called Trump's supporters "racists" and double downed on it by using the term "basket of deplorables" to further describe Trump's supporters. It ended up backfiring on her as all it did was galvanize Trump's supporters with some of them on Twitter adding the word "Deplorable" to their usernames(Trump supporters also did it on Facebook, but Facebook apparently cracked down on it, enforcing a rule that Facebook users can't use nicknames in their usernames). Kind of like how on GamePolitics.com, Jack Thompson invented the word "pixelante"(a combination of the words pixel and vigilante) as an insult to describe gamers defending the video game industry and fake "violent" video games, but the gamers on the site embraced it and made the word their own, considering it a compliment to the point of having "Pixelante" T-shirts made.
But Trump lost it back to Clinton with a poor showing in the first Presidential debate on Sept. 26th despite starting strong in the first 30 minutes. Then later that week, assuming this was an attempt to get Trump to release his past income tax returns(he has consistently denied all requests to do so, saying he is still under an IRS audit and can't release them until the audit is completed, even though the IRS has said he could release them if he wants), an old federal income tax return of Trump's from 1995 was leaked to the press showing Trump claimed a loss of nearly one billion dollars with the writer claiming that Trump could have avoided paying federal income taxes for almost two decades using the claim.
The leaked tax return just points out the flaws in the US tax code. Every American, whether it's a billionaire like Donald Trump or the average ham and egger(Bobby The Brain Heenan reference FTW), tries to find as many deductions as they legally can to either pay less taxes, not pay taxes at all, or even get a tax refund from the feds. If the rules allow for Americans to take advantage of loopholes in the system regardless of how much money they make, is that Trump's fault for taking advantage of the system? Or is it the lawmakers' fault for having and leaving those loopholes in the system in the first place?
But then, the pendulum slowly started to swing back towards Trump as at the same time of that old tax return being leaked, President Obama made a stupid remark during an interview on Steve Harvey's radio show, saying that not voting or voting for a third party candidate was a vote for Donald Trump. No, Mr. President, not voting means you didn't believe any of the candidates for President is worthy of your vote and thus, being President. Voting for a third party candidate means you believe that third party candidate is more deserving and more qualified of being President than either Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump.
Even though the Republicans are probably saying the same thing Obama did, that comment is not only an example of the "us vs. them" mentality that the two major political parties have towards each other, but it also shows how pathetic the Democrats are as they apparently still haven't gotten over former Vice President Al Gore's loss to George W. Bush in 2000. It's pathetic that it seems like they still blame Ralph Nader, the Green Party candidate that year, for taking votes that would have normally gone to the Democrats rather than blaming themselves or Gore himself for his own defeat because of the way they ran Gore's campaign. And the Democrats also fear the possibility that the same thing that happened in 2000(Gore won popular vote by over 500,000 votes, but Bush won enough states to win the electoral college 271-266, one more than the 270 needed to win) will happen again in 2016 where Hillary Clinton wins the popular vote, but Donald Trump wins enough states to win the electoral vote. (Projections on fivethirtyeight.com showed that scenario happening before the first debate and on Oct. 11th, CNN.com briefly showed an electoral college map showing Trump winning the electoral college 374-163 with one undetermined, because Maine and Nebraska aren't winner take all states.)
However, considering that the Green Party is basically further to the left than the Democrats with their biggest focus being on environmental issues, it seems more likely that Nader was getting more votes from the far left fringe than from moderates in 2000. Remember, Al Gore chose to alienate the MTV crowd that Bill Clinton embraced in 1992 & 1996. Those voters likely chose to stay home and not vote at all rather than vote for someone they didn't like or respect. A vote for a third party candidate or not even voting at all is a sign of dissatisfaction towards both the Democrats and the Republicans.
The right to vote is considered to be the ultimate form of freedom. Just because a voter happens to be registered as a Democrat doesn't mean Hillary Clinton or any other Democrat is entitled to that person's vote. Likewise, if that voter is registered as a Republican, it doesn't mean Donald Trump or any other Republican is entitled to that person's vote either. In fact, it doesn't even mean that you have to like the candidates your party nominates. If a voter, whether they're registered as a Democrat or not, doesn't think that Hillary Clinton is the best person to be President of the United States because she is not liberal enough, green enough, progressive enough, or even pro-First Amendment enough(or if a registered Republican voter thinks Donald Trump is not conservative enough or pro-2nd Amendment enough), then that voter is right to vote their conscience and vote for the person they feel is the best person for the job.
Just like Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton, Libertarian Party candidate Gary Johnson and Green Party candidate Jill Stein earned the right to be on the Presidential ballot and they will earn every vote they receive on November 8th. (Even if third parties continually get screwed over by the two main parties.)
Plus, people don't like it when you tell them they can't do something because they're going to do it anyway.
Hillary herself also made a stupid comment around that same time. Gary Johnson did a town hall meeting on MSNBC hosted by Chris Matthews and was asked to name one leader of a foreign country outside the US that he respected. And Johnson couldn't answer as he drew a blank. So a reporter with ABC News asked Hillary if she could name one as a joke. The first name Hillary said: German chancellor Angela Merkel, whose government tried to cover up over a thousand sexual assaults of women and young girls by male "Syrian refugees" in Cologne last New Year's Eve. No mention of French President Francois Hollande, who has helped the US in the war on terrorism, fighting ISIS since the terrorist attacks on Paris last November.
Then Hillary's running mate US Senator Tim Kaine lost the Vice Presidential debate to Indiana governor Mike Pence, Trump's running mate, by continually interrupting Pence like Trump did with Clinton in the first debate. It also didn't help Kaine that LGBT people and supporters of LGBT rights felt that Kaine competely dropped the gay rights ball by not calling Pence out on his being anti-LGBT and in particular, the "religious liberty" bill Pence signed into law last year months before the US Supreme Court decision that legalized same-sex marriage in all 50 states(even though Pence did sign a watered down version of the law after national public outcry and threats to boycott the state of Indiana over it).
While I do agree that Kaine did drop the ball there, I feel like it would have actually hurt Kaine and Clinton much more if he had because Pence would have turned it around on Kaine, using the Clintons' past support of the Defense of Marriage Act and the military's "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy as well as the Clinton Foundation accepting millions of dollars in donations from countries in the Middle East that put homosexuals in jail or to death and treat women as second class citizens or slaves, like Saudi Arabia(which Trump jumped on Hillary about in the last debate when Hillary mentioned going to China in support of women's rights, in which Hillary had no answer, no witty retort, and no smug bitch smile). Pence would have also used both President Obama's cash payments to Iran this past summer and the nuclear deal with them last year, another country that punishes homosexuality with the death penalty, making Donald Trump and even Mike Pence look more pro-LGBT than Hillary Clinton and Tim Kaine are**.
Then the morning after the Vice Presidential debate, news came out that Al Gore would be campaigning for Hillary Clinton to promote his signature platform of climate change. As if pro-First Amendment voters needed another reason to not trust Hillary on First Amendment issues. Remember how Gore ran his campaign in 2000 and remember what Gore's wife tried to do with the music industry in the 80's. And when Gore did start campaigning for Hillary, they went back to blaming the third parties for his loss in 2000.
Finally, I don't think it's a coincidence that an unreleased videotape from 2005 was leaked to the press two days before the second Presidential debate with Donald Trump talking privately and off the record
with Access Hollywood host Billy Bush on the way to the set of Days of Our Lives to shoot a cameo appearance on the soap opera about using his fame to have sex with women, to put it lightly. And everybody had the nerve to act shocked by this even though these same people were bashing Trump as a sexist, a misogynist, a racist, or an Islamophobe since the day Trump first announced his candidacy for President. Everybody also acted like nobody ever talks like that in private without microphones around. Or even in public. Either way, Trump did apologize for his remarks. While I do agree with Sargon of Akkad that Trump should not have apologized, I feel like Trump had to apologize, if only to stop his own female supporters from leaving him.
Though I think it's not actually hurting Trump as much among voters as people may think. Even if some Republicans who are mostly unknown to the general public are using the tape to justify not supporting their party's own Presidential nominee to their constituents. Then again, those same Republicans probably didn't want to support Trump to begin with but felt an obligation to because Trump's the GOP's Presidential candidate. Even if some Republicans like House Speaker Paul Ryan believe that it has already cost Trump the election. Even if some people think that words somehow equal actions. After all, America is a forgiving society to an extent. We Americans have given people second chances, and even third, fourth, and fifth chances. People can change especially if they're allowed to, especially when they get older. And after Trump apologized again during the second debate, everybody outside of the news media pretty much stopped talking about the tape when Trump broke with Pence on whether the US should send ground troops to Syria. And Trump was apparently still seen as the winner of the second debate despite all of that.
However, I fail to see how this videotape was even relevant today. All Trump did on that audio was talk bullshit with Billy Bush, doing an R-rated take on Nature Boy Ric Flair's standard promo talking about how he's "styling and profiling" and "a limosuine-riding, jet-flying, wheeling-dealing, kiss-stealing son of a gun". Hell, I don't even think NBC should have suspended Billy Bush over a tape from 11 years ago. Even if he did egg on Trump as Trump's current wife Melania believes. Especially when NBC owns the tape in question to begin with as NBC Universal produces and distributes Access Hollywood for syndication to TV stations that want to air the show(for example, WGNO, the New Orleans ABC affilate, airs the show after Nightline at 12:05am or at around 1:05am on Fridays after the Friday Night Football high school football SportsCenter show from September through December). So, it stands to reason that NBC may have already known about Trump's remarks on that tape for a long time. Their Standards & Practices department had to have known about it even if their news department didn't. And if the higher-ups at NBC knew about those comments, the network still allowed Trump to host the Apprentice and Celebrity Apprentice and still aired the beauty pagents he owns(Miss USA, Miss Teen USA, & Miss Universe) until he decided to run for President last year.
If this videotape was supposed to be the Trump card(pun intended) that knocked out Donald Trump and handed Hillary Clinton the Presidency, the question now becomes, was this card played too soon? A lot can still happen between now and November 8th and things can change based on what's happening in the US and in the world. I think if Tim Kaine had won the Vice Presidential debate, that tape wouldn't have been released until hours before the election when Trump would have had no time to adequately respond to it. Imagine if it came out that Hillary Clinton cheated on Bill while she was Secretary of State or as US Senator, or even while Bill was still President(even before Monica Lewinsky?). Or what if it comes out that while Bill was President, he and Hillary let fellow politicians and even world leaders have sex with their daughter Chelsea to close deals?*** Would it still matter? It might. The media has spent more time talking about the stupid videotape from 11 years ago than on Wikileaks' release of the hacked DNC e-mails that shine a very negative light on Hillary Clinton and her campaign because 1) sex sells and 2) their excuse for not covering Wikileaks is "they can't independently verify the authenticity of the e-mails". Bullshit. All they have to do is do their jobs and keep asking the authors of the e-mails to verify them. Simple Yes or No question, "Did you write those e-mails?"
So, it's OK to criticize Donald Trump for alleged sexual misconduct and his current wife Melania Trump for standing by him(and for the naked photos she posed for when she was still a model), but it's not OK to criticize Hillary Clinton for standing by her husband Bill Clinton despite his own alleged sexual misconduct? All abroad the hypocrisy train. Choo-choo.
And now, the media has shifted to asking whether or not Donald Trump will even accept the results of the election if he were to lose because Trump is saying that the election and the polls are rigged against him. I wonder if Trump is really just trolling everyone, the media, Hillary Clinton, her supporters, and even the GOP at this point. Vince McMahon may indeed be Donald Trump's secret campaign manager.
Donald Trump is creating two narratives, one if he loses the election, the other if he wins. If Trump loses, he will claim that he was cheated out of the Presidency by the political establishment in both parties. This is the narrative he wants people to focus on as he is rallying his supporters that helped him win the Republican nomination. Trump did try to work with the GOP establishment after winning their nomination, but after the release of that Access Hollywood tape and some GOP politicians turning on him as a result, he's kind of gone back to presenting himself as the anti-status quo candidate he was in the nomination process despite his shift further to the right.
It's funny how President Obama and Hillary Clinton both criticized Trump for "whining" about the process being rigged when the establishment in the Democratic Party actually did screw Bernie Sanders out of the Democratic nomination. And when Trump was saying in Feburary/March that the process is rigged, there was a very real possibility that if Trump had the most delegates, but was short of the 1,237 delegates he needed to win the Republican nomination outright, the GOP would have tried to find a way to screw Trump out of the nomination. And it worked for Trump as the people weren't happy with what they were seeing behind the curtain when Trump pulled it back and exposed the political establishment at the controls like in the Wizard of Oz. He's gone back to that well hoping that it will work again.
The other narrative Trump is creating by saying the election is rigged is that if he wins the election, Trump can turn around and say that he overcame all the odds, defeating not just Hillary Clinton and her supporters, but also the liberal news media, the political establishment in both parties, and everybody who doubted that he could win the election. Almost like he was John Cena or Hulk Hogan. In my mind, I think Trump will leave the GOP win or lose.
Anyway, this is the reality TV world we live in. Would anyone really be paying as much attention to this Presidential election if Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton were actually talking about the issues and only
about the issues instead of dredging up Trump's past, Hillary Clinton's past, or even Bill Clinton's past? Probably not. But it shows that both Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton have major albatrosses around their necks and with the current society where everything you've done and said is fair game whether it's true or not and regardless of how long ago it was, they only have themselves to blame for the negative content of the election. And so are we. We are the ones who voted for Donald Trump & Hillary Clinton to be the nominees of the two major parties despite their highly negative images.
I don't think we realized just how ugly and divisive this election would get. And we should have known because this election is a reflection on us as Americans. We are all ultimately responsible for the content of the election. We have become a tabloid nation that cares more about gossip and scandal than we do about the actual issues. We've been focusing too much on what divides us rather than on what unites us as a country, and we only have ourselves to blame for that. But we find it much easier to blame everything else instead of looking at ourselves in the mirror.
We would rather blame the news media for only reporting on gossip and scandal, when we're just as responsible for their reporting since we respond more to the muckraking than we do the actual issues. Because it's human nature to focus more on negatives than on positives, we respond more to negative headlines that promote fear and hysteria than on headlines that show that our fears are unfounded. We would rather blame the news media for being biased when everything and everyone is biased, even our own selves, and we always tend to gravitate towards news that share our own viewpoints. otherwise known as confirmation bias.
While I do criticize the news media for being biased and too focused on sensationalizing stories, they're still doing their job in reporting the news to an extent. However, the news media always treats a story like it's feeding a pig, constantly feeding it until it explodes, then turning around and reporting on the explosion acting like they had nothing to do with the pig exploding. The news media can't report on stuff if it's not being presented to them on a silver platter. If Trump and Clinton don't like what's being reported about them, then they and their surrogates should quit feeding the news media by constantly insulting each other.
Some people might feel that there's too much risk in having Donald Trump being President over Hillary Clinton, but some people may feel the risk might be worth it since Hillary still represents the status quo. Being President is an awesome responsibility that is life altering. Only Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton know for sure how they'll react once they take the oath of office and the gravity of being the President of the United States and the leader of the free world sets in. We'll see what happens in November after the election and in January on Inauguration Day.
And then the question becomes, will we Americans ever truly unite as a nation regardless of who wins the election? Considering that the ugliness of this election has exposed the political divide that's always been there****, as long as we continue to justify staying in our own personal echo chambers and justify attempting to silence those we disagree with, it's highly unlikely we will unite as a nation deserving of the name of the United
States of America.
*-Polls aren't exactly that accurate. While I've said that the people taking the poll are reliant on the people they're polling being honest with them, there are a few things to consider. Remember, earlier this year in the Democratic primary in Michigan, Bernie Sanders beat Hillary Clinton despite trailing in the polls by double digits in the days before the primary.
Also, during the #Brexit
campaign, which was a referendum in Great Britain asking the British people to vote on whether or not to leave the European Union, polls showed that 80%
of likely voters surveyed said they'd vote to remain in the EU. But in the election, the people voted to leave the increasingly authoritarian EU by roughly 52% to 48%. And showing that the political divide isn't just an American phenomenona, the Remainers in the UK almost immediately demanded a re-vote even though Parliament has said there will be no re-vote. Although, Scotland might decide to hold a 2nd referendum on whether to leave the United Kingdom to become an independent nation over the #Brexit
vote(the majority of voters in Scotland voted to stay in the EU).
And finally, during the 2000 election, the news media originally called Florida for Al Gore as soon as the voting booths closed based on exit polls, but when all the votes were initially counted, George W. Bush won the state, its electoral votes, and the Presidential election.
**-Even though Donald Trump already appears to be pro-LGBT; for example, when Ted Cruz complained about the outcry over North Carolina's law to keep transgendered people from using the public bathroom of the gender they most identify with, Trump said he didn't care which public bathroom transgendered people used and even invited Caitlin Jenner to use the restrooms at Trump Tower, in which she accepted the invitation).
***-To be fair, I highly doubt that ever happened. I wanted to give an example using something that seems unlikely, but still likely at the same time, given the nature of politics.
****-And at the same time, the political divide has also contributed to some of the ugliness of the Presidential election.
The Wacky 2016 Presidential Election
Part 2: Trump and Clinton accuse each other of bigotry and how the political correctness bug biting Clinton could make Trump President
Just when people thought the 2016 Presidential election couldn't get any more bizarre and any crazier after Donald Trump was accused of calling for Hillary Clinton's assassination, a couple of days later, Trump decided to start calling Hillary a bigot after referring to her as "Crooked Hillary" since becoming the presumed Repbulican nominee and Hillary called him a racist in response as well as suggesting his supporters are also racist.
So it looks like the evil political correctness bug I've mentioned in past essays has struck again. And it could still be a fatal wound to Hillary Clinton's campaign.
When Trump called Hillary a bigot, he said it was because her and the Democrats' policies that were supposed to help ethnic minorities are actually hurting them instead. When Hillary called Trump a racist, she justified it by making the claim that Trump was making hatred of ethnic minorities mainstream, using his past comments on illegal immigrants and Muslims as well as using video of Ku Klux Klan members saying they supported Trump(including former Louisiana state representative and 1991 candidate for Louisiana governor David Duke, a former KKK Grand Wizard who is one of the 24 people currently running for David Vitter's US Senate seat, though Trump denounced his endorsement). Hillary's kind of ignoring the idea that the KKK and groups like theirs would support any white person if they thought that person would be beneficial to their cause, like Ted Cruz, who once said on the campaign trail something about finding out if sand glowed in the dark.
This all stemmed from polls showing Trump far behind Clinton amongst potential black voters(originally Clinton had like 90% support, while Trump had 2% or less, now Clinton had 81% to Trump's 7%). Although, I think the polls might be off because of a theory Scoot's brought up on his WWL radio show. Some people might not be willing to publicly admit to anyone, even someone conducting a poll over the phone, that they're going to vote for Donald Trump(or anyone else) for fear of someone finding out and being unfairly and falsely labeled, or being falsely accused of "betraying the cause" or some bullshit like that.
I'll explain it like this: People do feel pressured to vote a certain way by their friends and even their family if they say that they plan to vote in the election. But when you're in the voting booth on Election Day, once the curtain closes, you're free to vote for anyone you want because nobody else is allowed in the booth with you. After you finish voting, you can say anything or nothing at all to your friends and family. If your father is a hardcore Republican, you can vote for someone else and say "I voted for Trump" to get him off your back. And the same rule applies if your parents are hardcore Democrats instead.
However, when a pollster calls someone and asks them, "Who do you plan to vote for?", that person might not be alone in the house. That person probably doesn't want their significant other or another family member to overhear them on the phone telling the person conducting a poll that they're going to vote for Donald Trump. So rather than risk fighting with their family, they'll either say they're voting for Hillary Clinton or they haven't decided yet.
Compounding the problem is that recent polls are showing that race relations between whites and blacks in the US has deteriorated back to its levels in 1992 during the riots in Los Angeles over the police beating of Rodney King. This despite the election and re-election of the first black President in US history. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. is spinning in his grave along with George Carlin and Edward R. Murrow as we speak.
If Hillary is banking on the idea that people will stop supporting Donald Trump just because some group whose ideas they disagree with is also supporting Trump, I think it's a mistake on her part. After all, I'm sure there are people that will vote for Hillary despite some group whose ideas they disagree with also supporting her(*cough*blacklivesmatter*cough*). But as some people won't vote for Trump because of his antics or for Hillary because of her actions as Secretary of State, some people that still considered voting for Hillary might get turned off by her attempt to lump all of Trump's supporters together as racists and vote for someone else, even for Donald Trump.
Has Donald Trump said some things that some people have been offended by? Yeah, but that's why Trump has become so popular. He doesn't really care who gets offended by what he says. Trump has railed against the idea of political correctness as it's gone beyond its original intent of not saying things that purposely offend an individual or a group to the current idea that no one should ever say anything that might even remotely offend another individual or group.
Like Vince McMahon, Trump doesn't really care from an entertainment aspect whether you love or hate him because you're still talking about him. Like Vince McMahon, Trump will attack and belittle anybody who he thinks slighted him. Just like Howard Stern, whether you love or hate Donald Trump, you still want to hear what he'll say next. And just like Jesse Ventura, Trump has said and done things on the campaign trail that would have probably killed at least 200 normal politicians by now.
When Donald Trump first announced his candidacy for President, no one really gave him a chance to win the Republican nomination, let alone the Presidency. The political experts thought he'd top out at 30% of the vote, but those experts, as well as the political establishment, really underestimated both Trump's appeal and the current mood of the American people.
Just like the news media and the entertainment media, political candidates for public office are a reflection of their audience. Donald Trump is a reflection of Americans who now feel disenfranchised because they feel that the federal government is no longer representing them as well as Americans who are sick and tired of the current political status quo and have said "WELL ENOUGH IS ENOUGH AND IT'S TIME FOR A CHANGE!" like Owen Hart. The Americans who are tired of the status quo might be afraid of what Donald Trump might do once he gets into office, but they're more afraid that nothing will change or even that things will get worse if America stays on its current path with Hillary Clinton as President.
While Donald Trump isn't a career politician, he's playing their game better than those career politicians with far more experience holding public office than he has. Even though he's a certified billionaire who lives a lifestyle the average American can only dream of, when Trump talks to average Americans on the campaign trail, they're left feeling like Trump does understand their fears and concerns about the United States. With his charisma, Trump is able to get support from people that like him even though they don't necessarily agree with him or like what he says.
Donald Trump won the Republican Party's Presidential nomination because he was able to generate mass appeal beyond the far right conservative base of the Republican Party. While Trump may lean to the right on some issues, he comes off as a moderate because he leans to the left on other issues, in particular, the rights of LGBT people. While Trump's comments about illegal immigrants and Muslims at the beginning of his campaign attracted hardcore conservatives, being a political outsider far removed from the political establishment in Washington, DC attracted moderates and independents. He gained votes from moderate Republicans and independent voters and even some Democrats that were able to switch parties before a primary or caucus to just to vote for Trump, while Senators Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio were too busy fighting each other over who was the more conservative of the two.
Recent US political history has shown that candidates that appear to be moderate win national elections because the majority of voters in the United States are moderates, despite the Rush Limbaughs and Glenn Becks of the world always referring to moderates as "weak". While these moderate voters may have registered with either party, they don't necessarily agree with everything the party they registered with says or does. Barack Obama and Bill Clinton portrayed themselves as moderate Democrats* and George W. Bush referred to himself as a "compassionate conservative". While people will go to their inner ideology once they get into office, campaigning as an extreme left wing or extreme right wing candidate won't win them a national election because nobody really likes zealots. Nobody likes it when you try to force them to see the world exactly as you do.
By voting for Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders in the primaries and caucuses, the American people showed the political establishment in both parties that they were sick of the way the country is being run and tired of the political establishment being more interested in staying in power than working for the American people. And that scares the power brokers in Washington. The American people are starting to reject them and they're also starting to reject attempts by the news media, conservative talk radio, and other groups to divide the United States and segregrate the people into groups of only extremes.
And what's keeping Donald Trump in the campaign against Hillary Clinton despite losing ground to her in some recent polls even though those polls have gone back and forth between the two is that Clinton still represents the political status quo that many Americans have become disgusted with. And that while Trump is still somewhat seen as a moderate despite conservative Indiana governor Mike Pence being his running mate, her fight with Bernie Sanders for the Democratic nomination basically pushed Hillary further to the left despite Hillary wanting to be seen more as a moderate like her husband is.
So supporters of Hillary Clinton and haters of Donald Trump(like, for example, comedian Christopher Titus, who has referred to Trump as "Sarah Palin with a penis") have tried to claim that because Trump has never held public office, it somehow makes him unfit to serve as President of the United States. The Trump haters even use analogies like "You wouldn't go to a doctor who's unlicensed" or "You wouldn't hire a plumber who's never worked as a plumber before."
First off, the doctor analogy is weak as a doctor has to have a license to practice medicine(and on that same note, an attorney has to have a license to practice law as well). In fact, there are laws against practicing medicine or law without a license. Likewise, you're not going to call a plumber as you're more likely to do it yourself or ask a family member to help to save money. And how do you know if the guy won't do a good job despite never working as a plumber before?
A sports analogy would have been better, but that analogy would actually have hurt their cause rather than help it. I'll say it like this: "Would you rather have a guy who's never been a head coach before(Trump) or a guy with head coaching experience with three different teams, but has never had a winning season or made the playoffs, despite having tremendously talented rosters at his disposal(Clinton)?"
And the biggest problem with the whole "Trump can't be President if he's never served public office" argument is that holding public office is not and was never a requirement to serve as President of the United States.
Under the Constitution of the United States, anybody is eligible to run for President as long as they meet three very simple requirements mandated by the Constitution:
1) be a natural born citizen of the United States, which means being born within the borders of the United States or its military bases and embassies or have at least one of your parents be an American citizen at the time of your birth
2) be at least 35 years old at the time of the election
3) live in the United States for at least 14 years.
Anybody can run for President if those requirements are met. To use a wrestling example, Chris Jericho could run for President if he wanted to as he was born in the US in New York(his dad, pro hockey player Ted Irvine, was playing for the New York Rangers at the time Chris was born), he's at least 35, and he's lived in the US for almost 20 years since 1997(a year after signing with WCW). However, Bret Hart couldn't run for President because while he's a US citizen from his late mother Helen Hart being an American citizen from New York, he's never lived in the US as he's never even moved out of his hometown of Calgary(far as I know).
And since the President of the United States is also the Commander-in-Chief of the US Armed Forces, that whole argument against Trump can also be turned against Hillary Clinton, as whoever wins will be the fourth straight President to not have served one single day in the United States military. There's probably more than a few veterans who would like to see that changed.
Some people think Clinton should not even be eligible anyway because of the investigations over her using a private e-mail server while she was Secretary of State even though she wasn't charged with a crime(and she should have been) as well as the questions about her health and whether she can even handle the rigorous job of being President, but that's beside the point.
Point is, some people are tired of the status quo, they're tired of nothing getting done. and they're tired of feeling like their voices are not being heard by anyone in Washington. As Dave Mustaine famously said in the Megadeth song "Peace Sells (But Who's Buying?)", it's still "We, the People", right?
*-Bill Clinton, who was governor of Arkansas at the time he became President, probably came off as more moderate than Obama ever did as Democrats in the Southeastern US tend to be more moderate than the rest of their counterparts.
The Wackiness of the 2016 Presidential Election
So who would have thought that in 2016, both major party Presidential candidates, both of whom the majority of people think can't be trusted, would not only accuse each other of being bigots and racists, but also one of them would be accused of calling for the assassination of the other?!
This election cycle has been so bizarre that some people are actively hoping for a giant meteor to hit the Earth before the election but after the Chicago Cubs finally win the World Series. That's how bad it's gotten. And we all knew or should have known that it was going to be bad. Even though people initially thought that Donald Trump had no chance in hell to beat out 16 other candidates in a battle royal to win the Republican nomination, he did exactly that. Trump won the Republican nomination and is in the position he's currently in because the political pundits completely underestimated the mood of the American people, and I would argue that they still are.
Meanwhile, Hillary Clinton held off Bernie Sanders for the Democratic nomination with outside interference from now-former DNC chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz, who Clinton quickly brought into her campaign after Wasserman Schultz was let go by the DNC when hacked e-mails showing that the DNC worked to help Hillary win the nomination were made public, cheating Bernie Sanders out of it in the process.
Why did I use wrestling terms? Well, besides from being a wrestling fan and the election feeling like it's no different than pro wrestling, in an issue of Pro Wrestling Illustrated earlier this summer, writer Harry Burkett wrote an op-ed column suggesting that Vince McMahon was Donald Trump's secret campaign manager, similar to how I suggested in a previous essay that Tipper Gore was her husband Al's secret campaign manager in 2000.
I do kind of agree with that assessment. Trump and McMahon both share similar mindsets and Trump has worked with Vince before, so he probably learned a few things from McMahon. More on that later.
This essay will be split into three parts. Part 1 will focus on Trump's comments on the 2nd Amendment which some people saw as a call for Hillary's assassination and why I think the 2nd Amendment will stay intact even if Hillary wins the White House and despite her and the extreme left's best efforts. Part 2 will focus on both Trump and Hillary calling each other bigots and racists and how wrong it is for Hillary to lump all of Trump's supporters as being racist when both Trump and Hillary have a melting pot of supporters, as well as explaining how Donald Trump got as far as he did in the Presidential campaign. And Part 3 is basically how the events of the last month have led people to believe that both candidates are tanking the election, Trump more than Clinton, and how we have allowed ourselves to get to that point. The last two parts may be seen as defending Donald Trump, but again, we're the ones that voted for Trump and Clinton to lead their parties.
Part 1: The 2nd Amendment will survive even if Hillary Clinton becomes President
During a campaign rally on August 9th, Donald Trump made a speech suggesting that if Hillary Clinton does become President of the United States, there would be nothing that the American people could do to stop her from appointing liberal judges to the US Supreme Court in an attempt to dismantle the 2nd Amendment.
While some people saw Trump's speech as an appeal to the people that strongly support 2nd Amendment rights who aren't already members of the National Rifle Association to vote for him, others saw it as Trump calling for American gun owners to kill Hillary in part because he's already said and done things on the campaign trail that were controversial and crazy.
Scoot in his WWL blog pointed out that he learned from a class he took called Communication Theory that there are two parts to any communication: the intent of the speaker and the reception of the speech by the audience. And he also learned that the speaker's intention doesn't always match how the audience reacts to the speech. Only Donald Trump knows for sure what he intended by that particular speech and he has said that he was appealing for votes from 2nd Amendment supporters and that he didn't directly or indirectly say that Hillary should be assassinated.
While most Trump supporters were blaming the tabloid trash news media for assuming the worst of Trump(because they see the liberal news media as biased against Trump and conservatives in general), the news media is always going to look for ways to sensationalize the story. If we were in a parllel universe where Hillary Clinton made the exact same speech Trump made about the 2nd Amendment, the news media would be saying that Hillary called for Trump's assassination.
All in all, if Donald Trump really did call for Hillary Clinton's assassination, he would have been arrested right then and there, because the First Amendment does not protect speech that specifically creates a "clear and present danger" to the populace. Trump did not tell the crowd at that rally at any point to "Go get your gun, find Hillary Clinton, and shoot her until she dies!" Donald Trump didn't even say that Hillary Clinton should be killed. But because we as a society have become so sensitive about any type of speech, anything Trump said in that speech about the 2nd Amendment could have been perceived as a death threat against Clinton.
Point is, you have to ask yourself what you first thought when you heard about Trump's comments about Hillary Clinton and the 2nd Amendment before hearing all the analysis and rhetoric from either side. What your first thought about that comment was is what you thought Trump's intentions were. *My first thought was that he was trying to get votes from a conservative audience. Not even Trump is that crazy to call for the assassination of another Presidential candidate even if it would clear the path to the Presidency for him because he didn't need to do that to beat 16 other people for the Republican nomination.*
But I have to question whether or not a Hillary Clinton Presidency would actually lead to the abolishment of the 2nd Amendment right to bear arms. And I don't think that it would.
As I've pointed out in a past essay, I've said that the 2nd Amendment right to bear arms is based on the responsibility of the arms-bearer to use his or her weapons for the good of the American people whether it's acting in self-defense, protecting other innocent people from harm, or defending our country. While I do support expanding background checks and making sure people who can't legally own a gun can't get one, it is both foolish and delusional to think that human beings will never have the need to protect themselves or their families and friends from harm.
The US Supreme Court ruled in Heller v. District of Columbia in 2008 with Justice Antonin Scalia writing the majority opinion that the 2nd Amendment right to bear arms is an individual right.
While Hillary Clinton could appoint more liberal justices to the US Supreme Court in an attempt to possibly overturn the Heller ruling, it won't be as easy as Trump and the NRA might think for these reasons.
1) The Supreme Court has been stuck with a vacancy on its nine member bench since Justice Scalia's death in Feburary because Republicans in the United States Senate have steadfastly refused to grant hearings to decide on confirming President Obama's appointment of Merrick Garland to replace Scalia as it would potentially shift the ideological balance of the Supreme Court from right-center to left-center, using the excuse of "it's a election year, let the next President appoint Scalia's successor."
Now keep in mind when Scalia died, both major parties' nominations were still very much up in the air. Even though they knew that both Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders would probably appoint more liberal judges, I feel that the Senate Republicans at that time were betting both on maintaining control of both houses of Congress and on their party winning the White House. Recent US history has shown that, except for 1988 when Vice President George H.W. Bush won to succeed his boss Ronald Reagan*, control of the White House has basically shifted between the two major political parties since the 22nd Amendment was ratified to limit a person to just two terms as President after Franklin Roosevelt won four straight terms until his death in 1945. In fact, before Republicans Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush, the last time one of the current major political parties held the White House for more than two terms at a time was FDR and fellow Democrat Harry Truman for five straight terms from 1932 through 1952.
Like I said after Scalia died, if it had been Justices Ruth Bader Ginsberg or Stephen Breyer that died suddenly instead of Scalia, Senate Republicans would have more likely to confirm another justice even in an election year because it wouldn't have affected the ideological balance of the Supreme Court. Now, if it had been Justices Clarence Thomas or even Anthony Kennedy that died suddenly instead of Scalia, Senate Republicans still would have refused to grant hearings for whomever Obama appointed to replace Scalia. And if Trump wins the Presidency and the GOP maintains control of the Senate, they'll just wait for Trump to name somebody else to replace Scalia.
But what if Hillary wins and the GOP loses control of the Senate in the process? Senate Republicans might decide to go ahead and confirm Merrick Garland before January 3rd when the new term of Congress starts just to keep Clinton from nominating another more liberal judge to the Court. There is also the possibility that if the GOP maintains control of the Senate, they'll just block any of Hillary Clinton's appointments to the Supreme Court and keep it at eight justices until they lose control of the Senate(which Senator John McCain, who is running for re-election, has said the Republicans would do).
I should point out that I'm not really familiar with Garland's political leanings in his court decisions, so I essentially went into this part blind.
And this scenario doesn't even take into account the likelihood that Louisiana's US Senate race, which has 24 people running to replace David Vitter(who announced his retirement effective when his term ends on January 3rd after he lost his bid for Louisiana governor last year to Democrat John Bel Edwards in a runoff), will end up in a runoff election in December**. A runoff in Louisiana between a Democrat and a Republican leaves open a possibility that Republicans could be left after election night with only a 50-49 advantage in the Senate, needing the Republican left standing(or an independent candidate who would be willing to caucus with the Republicans) to win just to keep the Senate from a 50/50 split. Which, if Hillary wins, the Democrats would gain control via tiebreaking vote by the Vice President, which would be Tim Kaine. Or even if Trump wins, there's the possibility that the GOP could be in a 50-49 disadvantage in December, needing to retain Vitter's seat to force a 50/50 split with Mike Pence casting the tiebreaking vote.
2) I mentioned in Part 1 of my Five Years After Brown v. EMA essay on the fifth anniversary of the Supreme Court's decision in Brown v. EMA that in a 4-4 split decision, the Supreme Court had to let stand the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals' ruling that President Obama could not use an executive order to go around the two houses of Congress in his attempt to change immigration policy. (And it has been said that if Scalia were still alive, he would have sided with the Fifth Circuit.) It is possible that the issue of how far executive orders should extend will end up back before the Supreme Court once Scalia's vacancy is filled, moreso if Clinton wins the Presidency than if Trump wins, and if the GOP keeps control of one or both houses of Congress.
Right now, as it stands, the President can't use executive orders to go around Congress to enact a law. He or she has to wait until both houses of Congress passes a bill so he or she could sign it into law or veto it.
3) The Supreme Court rarely reverse themselves on its interpretation of the US Constitution. There are only two major instances, maybe three, where they have reversed a previous Supreme Court ruling(they initially ruled that racial segregation in public schools was constitutional in Plessy v. Ferguson, but reversed itself in Brown v. Board of Education; they also initially ruled that gay men could be charged with sodomy even if the sex was consensual, but later reversed itself in Lawerence v. Texas).
4)I also have constantly said if the US Supreme Court says that something cannot be banned, then that thing simply cannot be banned, and the President of the United States cannot overturn a US Supreme Court decision(or even an amendment to the Constitution), especially on a whim. The only things that can overturn a Supreme Court decision is the Supreme Court themselves or an amendment to the US Constitution.
While Hillary Clinton would probably look into a Constitutional amendment to re-word or repeal the 2nd Amendment if she had to(she did say in her nomination acceptance speech at the DNC that she would consider a Constitutional amendment to overturn the Citizens United SCOTUS decision to enact campaign finance reforms), the way the United States elections have gone in recent years would make that plan virtually impossible.
As I pointed out in the Five Years After Brown v. EMA essay, Constitutional amendments need to be approved by two/thirds of both houses of Congress(290 Representatives and 67 Senators) and three/fourths of the states(38 states) to be added to the Constitution. Aside from the GOP currently having control of both houses of Congress, most of the states lean towards the Republican Party. Also, look at each state legislature and the governors of each state.
Does anybody that thinks rationally really see either party ever gaining a 2/3rds majority of both houses of Congress or having almost all the state governors and control of almost all of the state legislatures? Yeah, I didn't think so, either.
Ultimately, the 2nd Amendment is too ingrained in American society for it to disappear completely to the dismay of the gun control Nazis. As long as there's going to be a need for guns, they're always going to be around. There's no way to magically make every weapon of destruction disappear from society. Gun control should be the gun owner's responsibility, not the government's. And prohibition never works. Look at when America tried to ban alcoholic beverages entirely. Again, a lot of the problems today could be resolved to an extent if parents did their jobs and actually be parents by teaching their kids things like conflict resolution.
*and 1964 when Lyndon Johnson won after finishing the term of John F. Kennedy after JFK was assassinated even though JFK was in his first term at the time of his death.
**Louisiana's elections require a candidate to get 50.1% of the vote to win outright, otherwise the top two votegetters go to a runoff election.
As promised, here's the rant on parenting today. Back on June 22nd, there was an incident where a 19 year old black male shot and killed a white detective with the Jefferson Parish Sheriff's Office during a pedestrian stop because he was afraid of going back to jail for violating his probation for illegally carrying a gun. When it was announced at around 1:30pm that the officer had died, Scoot went on a rant on his WWL radio show "Scoot in the Afternoon", saying that people need to quit making excuses for other people's behavior, saying "Don't tell me that they're hungry. Don't tell me that they can't get a job." Then Scoot said that a lot of the problems today stem back to when the sperm penetrates the egg. Scoot also had to reiterate this same point the following week when there was an armed robbery at a Raising Cane's in Kenner where a black male stabbed 21 year old white female manager Taylor Friloux to death.
Scoot wasn't referring to people having sex just to have sex, he was talking about the mentality that some men have when it comes to sex, where they see a woman as nothing more than a "sexual conquest" and then walk away afterwards, More often than not, the sex is consensual. And then, if the woman becomes pregnant as a result of that one night stand, the man wants absolutely nothing to do with her or the kid, if the woman decides to even have the child. And our society, for some reason, does not consider these actions to be shameful. And if there is shame involved, it's almost always shoved onto the woman, not the man, even though it takes two to tango. Also, consider that there are stories about some men, in particular a few athletes and even a well known rap artist, having multiple children with multiple women.
And I agree, a lot of the perceived ills of society today stem back to parenting or the lack thereof.
While FBI statistics show that violent crime in the USA has fallen by half since 1991, research has consistently shown that there is a much stronger correlation between an unstable home life and crime than there ever was between fake "violent" video games and crime. Now, it doesn't mean that all parents are bad whether they're single parents for whatever reason or in a committed relationship(doesn't necessarily mean married). However, it would be foolish to expect that all parents have to be nearly perfect like Ward and June Cleaver, Ozzie and Harriet Nelson, Cliff and Claire Huxtable, Steven and Elise Keaton, or Philip and Vivian Banks. But then again, it seems like it's always bad people doing negative things that get to be on the front page of the newspaper or the top story of the nightly newscasts("If it bleeds, it leads"). And you don't see people going on daytime TV talk shows like Dr. Phil, Dr. Oz, Jerry Springer, or Maury Povich saying, "My dad was great, my mom was great, I'm just a shithead!"
Before and even after the success of the NBC sitcom he starred in, The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, actor Will Smith originally made his name as a rap artist known as the Fresh Prince with his best friend DJ Jazzy Jeff and one of their first major hits was a song called "Parents Just Don't Understand". A major contributor to today's issues with society is that parents today just don't understand the responsibility that comes with raising a child. Maybe it was because, as YouTube personality Razorfist said, parents chose to take parenting advice from Oprah Winfrey, who has no children and trained her quasi-husband to answer to a dog whistle.
Parents today just don't understand that it is their responsibility to teach their child the difference between right and wrong. Parents today just don't understand that it is their responsibility to monitor and control their child's consumption of entertainment media. Parents today just don't understand that it is their responsibility to teach their child that they are the only ones responsible for their behavior regardless of what they were exposed to both in entertainment and in real life. And parents just don't understand that it is also their responsibility if their under 18 child does something wrong(For example, Lionel Tate's idiot mother; go find the episode of A&E's old show American Justice about that case).
Parents today are more interested in having kids than actually taking the time to raise their kids. In an extreme example, some parents actually see parenting as a career choice, whether it's giving birth to their own kids or through adoption agencies and foster care, because they tend to get more money from government assistance programs.
Part of the reason parents today don't understand the responsibility of being a parent is that they've been becoming parents at a younger age than their own parents had. Even though statistics are showing that teen pregnancy has actually fallen in recent years, teenagers and most young adults are always going to be sexually active. However, teenagers today, especially in the southeastern United States, still aren't exactly being educated on how to practice safe sex outside of abstinence until marriage. Which actually shows another problem that hurts sex education in America today: Americans for the most part still see sexual activity and nudity as taboo, especially in entertainment media, unlike in Japan, Australia, the United Kingdom, and basically all of Europe and Asia.
Now, as I mentioned on numerous occasions on this blog and on Twitter, solving these problems with parenting today is not as simple as certain people make it out to be.
Attempting to ban tangible objects such as fake "violent" video games or guns is not a viable solution as prohibition never works and it would just be a waste of time and taxpayer's money thanks to several court decisions including in the US Supreme Court.
Some so-called Christian conservatives have tried to claim on social media that America started losing its "moral compass" when SCOTUS removed prayer from public schools, but that is a steaming pile of bullshit. While SCOTUS ruled in Engel v. Vitale in 1962 that public schools, which are run by government and gets state and federal funding, violated the First Amendment's guarantee against government endorsement of any religion("Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion") by leading the students in prayer, then ruling a year later in Ablington School District v. Schempp that public schools couldn't force its students to read the Bible, those decisions didn't actually ban students from praying if they wanted to. In fact, public schools still allows their students to voluntarily join religious clubs sponsored by teachers such as Christian Insight or Campus for Christ(I graduated from Terrebonne High School in 1998 and those two clubs were actually listed in my senior yearbook), and allows students to openly pray around the flagpole if those students want. In fact, there was some controversy earlier this month when some public schools(including one in Utah!) allowed a Satanist group to start an after school club on their campuses since those schools do allow Christian groups to have after school programs there.
It is also very naive to think that forcing Christian prayer back into public schools would somehow heal America and solve a complex problem. Scoot himself pointed out in a blog on WWL.com back in March that there too many other powerful factors going on in the United States at the time the Supreme Court banned public schools from leading its students in prayer:
-America was in economic prosperity after winning World War II, creating the Baby Boomer generation
-more people were moving out of the cities into the suburbs as it became easier to buy houses
-the sexual revolution began as the birth control pill was introduced(which ultimately led to the Supreme Court rulings in Griswold v. Connecticut and Eisenstadt v. Baird that barred states from banning birth control pills)
-the civil rights movement began as well as the Supreme Court reversed itself and ruled that public schools could no longer separate students by race
-women began to feel more empowered as they entered the workforce....well, actually, they stayed in the workforce after World War II. They were basically the domestic workforce while the men were fighting in Europe and in the Pacific. And with the introduction of birth control pill, women could now control when to have children, as it removed the risk of getting pregnant from casual sex
-the entertainment industry became much bigger as rock n' roll music and television became more and more popular, leading to the start of America becoming defined by the entertainment media(doesn't mean that the entertainment media ever stopped being a reflection of society)
-Crime started going back up as the youth of America began to rebel against authority, leading to John F. Kennedy being the youngest and only Roman Catholic to be elected President of the United States in 1960, beating Richard Nixon.
Does it count as irony when public schools leading students in prayer and forcing students to read the Bible were ruled unconstitutional by the US Supreme Court under the watch of a Catholic president?
Scoot also made a great point in the blog by saying that "a school-led prayer is meaningless unless the concept of praying is taught and reinforced at home by parents and families." And considering that more and more Americans are not following any particular religion at all, you have to wonder whether such a naive proposal would even work today with the country at least 50 years and three generations removed from the Engel v. Vitale decision. And also, the First Amendment has to be considered. Who would decide which faith gets represented by the prayer the school decided to use? Scoot pointed out that there was a case in 1890 where the Wisconsin Supreme Court ruled that public schools could not use the King James version of the Bible because some Catholics complained it was too Protestant.
And honestly, I firmly believe that the Supreme Court made the correct decision back in 1962. As a government entity, a public school has no business using its authority to advocate for or against any religion. As Jesse Ventura said in "Do I Stand Alone?", "the quickest way to ruin genuine (religious) faith in this country would be to try to force everybody to worship in a way that wasn't of their own choosing or in a way that was contrary to their upbringing."
You can't solve a social problem with legislation as you can't force morality on people and as Ron White eloquently says, you can't fix stupid. And the United States of America is not and should not be run according to religious doctrine, nor should any other country in the world for that matter. The United States is run according to a set of principles that guarantee equal rights, freedom, and privacy to every citizen.
So, with that out the way, how to solve the problems with parenting today? For starters, society should start demanding that parents take responsiblity for their children's actions and the children they already have until they turn 18, as well as start demanding that if a man gets a woman pregnant, he has to do the honorable thing and help her raise that child. If parents don't want to accept responsibility for the care and well-being of their child for the next 20 or so years, then they shouldn't have children to begin with. To paraphrase Jesse Ventura, If all you want is something sweet and cuddly that will adore you, keep you from being alone, and is only there to fulfill your own needs and not the other way around, then you shouldn't have a child either, you should go to the SPCA or the Humane Society and adopt a dog or a cat.
Should we start requiring people on government assistance to take some form of birth control so that they can't have more children while they're accepting government assistance for children they already have, to go along with the already implemented requirements mandating job training and/or community service for at least 20 hours a week? But again, if you're going to have children, you should responsible enough to plan ahead for their care.
Also, our society should stop encouraging irresponsible behavior by playing the "Blame Game". All you're doing is making excuses for someone's bad behavior and handing that person a "Get Out of Responsibility Free" card. Society should start demanding that individuals be held accountable for their own actions regardless of what they were exposed to in entertainment and in real life. Just because something is available in the free market, like a fake "violent" video game or a option on Snapchat to add your vehicle's speed to your photo, does not and should not excuse a person's failure to apply basic common sense when they decide to act irresponsibly or with evil intentions.
A couple of months ago, I posted an essay on how WWL radio talk show host Scoot pointed out this new type of political correctness going around where you're accused of bashing an entire group of people if you dare to criticize the behavior of one person in that particular group. Like, for instance, if you criticize the actions of a police officer, you're labeled as anti-police, or if you criticize the behavior of a black person, you're accused of being a racist.
I pointed out in that essay how the debate over the all female Ghostbusters reboot/name-make was also a prime example of that new form of political correctness, where anybody who didn't like the first trailer for the movie was labeled a misogynist by not only the people defending the movie, but also the director of the movie(Paul Feig) and the actresses starring in the movie(in particular Melissa McCarthy, but Kristen Wiig, Kate McKinnon, and Leslie Jones played along with it).
Between that, the reports from several YouTube posters that Sony deliberately deleted their comments that explained in a constructive and mature manner why they didn't like the trailer while keeping the nastier and more blatantly misogynistic comments up, the way the movie was marketed, and the mixed reviews of the movie, it makes me wonder if Sony & Paul Feig purposely made the first trailer the way it was to justify both the marketing of the movie and Feig's own attitudes toward people of his own gender.
Again, it shows how people have become so quick to stereotype and label those who disagree with them. We should be able to look at any situation honestly without having to worry about being labeled. Just because there are people in one group who behave in an unacceptable manner doesn't and shouldn't mean that you can blame all of the people in that particular group. The good should never have to suffer for the bad.
Recently, when the Ghostbusters reboot opened a close #2
(even though from the trailers and marketing, it looked like a #2
, as in "I went to the bathroom, took a Paul, and wiped my Feig") behind the animated movie The Secret Life of Pets, there was a situation on Twitter where Leslie Jones, who is black, received a series of racist tweets comparing her to gorillas, mainly a gorilla from a lesser-known TV show from the 1970's called The Ghost Busters as well as Harambe, the gorilla from the Cincinnati Zoo that was killed in May to protect a toddler who had somehow wandered into the zoo's gorilla exhibit.
The situation, which made national headlines, led to Jones temporarily "quitting" Twitter and Twitter indefinitely banning gay conservative blogger Milo Yiannopolous for allegedly inciting the incident even though he actually had nothing to do with it because he happened to tweet at her while it was already going on, basically saying that she should expect to get hate mail as a public figure and that she shouldn't have acted like a victim because he felt that she was terrible in the movie(although he may have been reacting to possibly faked tweets made to look like she tweeted something when she actually didn't and also he may not have gotten the whole story, because Jones was initially blocking everyone that sent her racist tweets, then she stopped even doing that because there were so many apparently).
I'm of several thoughts:
1) We as a society continue to try to justify and even make excuses for bad behavior. Were the deliberate racist tweets being made at Leslie Jones justified? No, they weren't. But the reaction to the intense dislike of the movie's first trailer by Sony, Paul Feig, the stars of the Ghostbusters reboot, and the movie's defenders in both printed and online media was not justified either. There was no justification in calling everyone(even women) who disliked the trailer "misogynist", for Paul Feig to refer to everyone(even women) in "geek culture" as "assholes", or for Melissa McCarthy to go on Jimmy Kimmel Live(both a 30-minute episode that aired prior to ABC's coverage of Game 3 of this year's NBA Finals between the Cleveland Cavaliers and the Golden State Warriors and a regular episode after the game and the late local news) with her other three co-stars and stereotype everyone who disliked the trailer as "40 year old people living in their parents' basement". Just because there's an equal reaction to every action does not mean that the reaction is completely justified.
Hell, there are some idiots who have tried to justify the recent murders of the police officers in Dallas and Baton Rouge by black supremacist racists. But Scoot made a great point in a recent blogpost on WWL.com, saying, "Shooting and killing police officers to protest violence against black males being killed by police officers epitomizes hypocrisy."
2) YouTube personality Liana Kerzner made some great points in a recent video called "How Leslie Jones Paid For Sony's Bad Ghostbusters Marketing" in which she said that Sony should not have tried to market the Ghostbusters reboot off of the tabloid trash news media-driven controversy over the all-female main cast like they did with the Seth Rogen/James Franco movie The Interview where the leader of North Korea threatened to go to war with the United States over the movie(because the plot of the movie involved two news reporters becoming undercover CIA operatives given a mission to assassinate the North Korean leader).
Liana also pointed out that Twitter was basically bears responsibility for the thing with Leslie Jones because they allowed it to go on for almost a whole day before doing anything about it, and boiled everything down to people being angry over the movie, that people aren't their best selves when they're angry over something, and that everyone involved poured gasoline on the fire by pushing the misogyny angle over trying to calm the fanbase of the original Ghostbusters movie. Basically, it emboldened the people that enjoy fanning the flames of anger and hate whether they make money off of that activity or not.
Then Liana says in the video that by pushing the misogyny angle, Sony painted a bullseye on the Ghostbusters reboot and franchise, allowing those internet trolls to specifically target Leslie Jones simply because Jones was the only black actress in the group and that she had the most characteristics for those type of people to go after(her gender, her race, her body type, etc.). (And in my view, it didn't help Leslie Jones either that her character in the movie was mostly seen as a black stereotype.)
Which is a great point. I'll put this in pro wrestling terms to give a comparison. When the people associated with the Ghostbusters reboot pushed the misogyny angle, they probably didn't realize that some of the people that posted the blatantly misogynistic stuff kind of have a similar mindset to the fans of the Philadelphia-based Extreme Championship Wrestling. To paraphrase Mick Foley in his first book Have A Nice Day: A Tale of Blood and Sweatsocks, the people that specifically didn't like the trailer of the movie because of its mostly female cast already know that they are uncaring, misogynistic SOB's, and not only did they welcome Sony's unwitting acknowledgement of them, they considered those insults to be complimentary.
Also, look at John Cena and Roman Reigns. Both men get booed out of the building every night by most wrestling fans in part because of how they're booked by WWE even though they're booked as good guys. Fans chant "John Cena Sucks!" to the tune of Cena's own entrance theme. Yet neither Cena nor Reigns let the fans' vehement dislike of them bother them, at least publicly. Although, right now fans aren't booing Reigns as much as they have since WWE is now booking him against anti-American heel and current WWE United States champion Rusev.
It also shows a huge difference between Sony and Disney. When Disney bought Lucasfilm from George Lucas, they almost immediately started planning new Star Wars movies, hiring JJ Abrams to direct and produce them. However, unlike Sony, Paul Feig, and the Ghostbusters reboot cast's disdain and disrespect for the Ghostbusters franchise and its fanbase, Disney, JJ Abrams, and the cast of Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens went out of their way to treat the Star Wars franchise and its fanbase with dignity and respect.
3) Twitter should not have outright banned Milo Yiannopolous because all they're really doing is making him more famous or infamous than he already was, even though he created a new account after finding out his original account was banned. Any publicity is good publicity because regardless of whether people love you or hate you, they're still talking about you. As YouTube personalities Sargon of Akkad and Mundane Matt pointed out in recent videos on the matter, Twitter's banning of his original account only made Milo more popular and more notorious. As I pointed out earlier, the story made national news like ABC's World News Now and The View. Nobody outside of the internet had really ever heard of Milo Yiannopolous before it was publicized that he got banned by Twitter.
Now that he got national media attention, Milo can claim that he was banned by Twitter for numerous reasons other than the reason they claim to have banned him for. He can claim that Twitter banned him simply because he's gay, or specifically because he has conservative views. And not only will his current fans will eat it up, he could potentially gain more fans, because people, mostly conservatives, who already feel like the news media is biased in favor of liberal viewpoints and now believe that social media sites like Facebook and Twitter are also becoming more biased against conservative viewpoints will feel like he was unjustly banned, which he was. Even celebrities like Dean Cain were criticizing Twitter for banning Milo.
And, not only did Twitter also unwittingly give the conservative media outlets that were critical of them and Facebook for their alleged bias against conservative views the justication for those views, they basically proved people like Glenn Beck right for having those views.
4) Lastly, Twitter unwittingly created a double standard by banning Milo for allegedly inciting the racist tweets against Jones and not banning Jones herself for attempting get her followers to do the same thing to a white woman. Also, the fact that the CEO of Twitter, Jack Dorsey, got involved by directly messaging Leslie Jones and not doing the same with Milo Yiannopolous shows a potential bias. The terms of service are supposed to be applied to all users, not just to people you personally disagree with, and the terms of service should be enforced at all times, not just whenever you feel like it or whenever you're sued by the family of an American civilian killed in a terrorist attack. There shouldn't be multiple sets of rules. Twitter is essentially a large-scale message board no different than the Freakin' Awesome Network, FanForum.com, or Sitcoms Online, to give a few examples.
Everything goes back to what I've said about respect being a two way street. Respect is supposed to be earned. If you expect to be treated with respect, you have to give respect to others in return. That is, treat others the way you expect to be treated. It's called "The Golden Rule" for a reason.
If Sony and Paul Feig had treated the Ghostbusters fanbase with respect like Disney and JJ Abrams did with the Star Wars fanbase, would what happened to Leslie Jones have still happened? Maybe it wouldn't have, maybe it still would have. Who knows? But I think the chances of it still happening would have been less likely had Sony completely ignored the trolls both on the internet and in the media, had Sony not played up the whole misogyny angle, had Sony gone ahead with Ivan Reitman making the movie as a direct sequel to begin with where Dan Akyroyd, Bill Murray, & Ernie Hudson passed the torch instead of pushing him out for a remake directed by an egotistical, effeminate idiot, and had Sony acted like Disney did with Star Wars.
In Part 1, I asked whether the ship on legislating content and sales of fake "violent" video games had indeed sailed as former GamePolitics.com writer Andrew Eisen stated in his podcast, and I agreed with his assessment that it has for two primary reasons:
1) No state or federal politician seems willing to challenge the US Supreme Court's decision in Brown v. EMA, not even the presumptive Democratic or Republican nominees for US President(Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump) despite statements made by both of them against the video game industry in the past, as the Supreme Court's decision makes any attempt at legislation against fake "violent" video games virtually impossible to pass Constitutional muster.
2) The overall hysteria against fake "violent" video games seems to have died out as it seems to have ceased to be a hot-button issue, at least since after Sandy Hook.
In the interest of full disclosure, I actually wrote the vast majority of the first part earlier this month, right after I wrote the one on political correctness being out of control.
And naturally, something major happens, that being the terrorist attack on a LGBT nightclub in Orlando, Florida in the early morning hours of June 11th by a radical Islamic terrorist who may or may not have been a closet-case self-loather who was never really comfortable with his own sexuality. And like clockwork, while the bodies were still warm and the investigation was ongoing, the "Blame Game" was being played in full force. Anything that could be blamed for it got the blame, whether it was guns, Islam, or fake "violent" video games(even though there was and still is no proof that the shooter actually played any). Never mind that by blaming everything other than the person that actually pulled the trigger, it's both making excuses for that person's evil behavior and basically absolving that person of their wrongdoing.
Recently, I got into a rather heated discussion with some moron on Twitter* who suggested that Justice Antonin Scalia did not shut the door entirely on legislation as I have constantly pointed out to everybody, and tried to argue that a narrower law could still pass Constitutional muster, even though Justice Samuel Alito admitted that Scalia made it where a narrower law couldn't even be considered. Then this assclown tried to justify his position by using content from a Japanese game that was never even released in the United States and was never even intended for US audiences to begin with, which made both him and his entire argument look ridiculous and pathetic and I couldn't really take his argument seriously after that. It even made me wonder if that idiot even bothered to read Scalia's majority opinion in Brown v. EMA. I highly doubt he actually did.
Because it's hard to articulate what you want to say on Twitter because they only allow 140 characters per tweet and not having time to adequately respond, here's how Justice Scalia shut that legislative door entirely as I and many others have interpreted that he had:
I've already posted my rundown of Scalia's majority opinion within a week of the decision, so here's the link to that: Final Justice: A Look at the Brown v. EMA decision
1) Because video games cannot be treated differently than other entertainment media like books, movies, television, and music under the Fourteenth Amendment's guarantee of equal protection of the law, any bill restricting fake "violent" content would have to apply to all forms of entertainment media, not just video games. Which means that either everything in entertainment is OK or nothing is.
If it's OK to watch Saving Private Ryan or Scarface in a movie theater or on TV, then it should be OK to play Call of Duty or Grand Theft Auto on the video game console of your choice.
2) Even if that bill did try to restrict any depiction of fake "violent" content in all entertainment media, because Scalia said the Supreme Court made it perfectly clear in Winters v. New York that only sexual content or conduct can be considered obscene, fake "violent" content is essentially protected free speech under the First Amendment.
Which means that fake "violent" content can not be restricted in the same way that sexual content can be or for any reason.
3) As the Supreme Court said in its holding in Brown v. EMA, "A legislature cannot create new categories of unprotected speech simply by weighing the value of a particular category against its social costs and then punishing it if it fails the test." Since the Supreme Court says that fake "violent" content is exempt from obscenity laws, that's essentially what any type of legislation against fake "violent" media would be doing.
And even if such a bill is meant to help parents, there's two problems with that. First, such laws do not actually enforce parental authority, but in reality, imposes governmental authority subject only to a parental veto. And second, if fake "violent" video games are really so "dangerous" and so "mind-altering", why would it be OK for a minor to even have or play one even if one of their parents says it's OK for that child to have and play it? It nullifies the whole argument against fake "violent" video games.
As the First Amendment of the US Constitution says, "Congress shall pass no law abridging the freedom of speech". What part of no law doesn't anybody understand?
Now, I'll discuss why that idiot's attempt to use a 10 year old Japanese Playstation 2 game to justify his argument that the content of fake "violent" video games should be restricted to minors and treated differently than other entertainment media was ridiculous. This jackass tried to claim that an 8-year-old could learn how to rape people from video games**, which is a blatant lie and an ignorant statement for several reasons:
1) As I said at the start, that Japanese game was never released in the US or even intended for the US audience.
2) The Japanese people have always been much more permissive of sex, sexuality, and nudity in their entertainment industry than the American people ever have.
3) Video games have a rating system just like movies and TV shows. Difference is that in America, those ratings are considered guidelines and not bound by law unlike other countries like Britain and Australia.
4) What kid even has $60 plus sales tax to buy a video game? And even then, all the major retailers require an ID card to purchase a M-rated game or a R-rated movie. Been like that for years. And according to the Federal Trade Commission, the retailers do a much better job keeping underage people from buying M-rated games than R-rated movies and music with parental advisory stickers.
5) No video game ever made outside of Japan, like America, Britain, or Canada, have rape as a feature.
6) It ignores that rape has always been used as a plotline in movies(The Accused, The General's Daughter, Causalities of War, I Spit On Your Grave, Last House on the Left, any movie on Lifetime), TV shows[One Life To Live, General Hospital, Guiding Light, The Young & The Restless(well, any daytime soap opera), any show on Investigation Discovery], and even books(Sleeping Beauty).
7) It also ignores the idea of personal responsiblity and personal accountability. It's making excuses for someone's bad behavior when the parents should be teaching their own kids that they are the only ones responsible for their behavior regardless of what they were exposed to, as well as teaching their own kids the difference between right and wrong.
Let's be honest, there are two main reasons why this moron made that ignorant statement:
1) Anthony Cumia(formerly of the Opie & Anthony radio show) once said: "For years, people who said they were offended by radio and TV shows were told to turn the dial and shut up. Those people smartened up. Now they complain in the name of America's children so you can't argue the point or you're some kind of kid destroying, child hating monster. You know the other type of person who loves using the children as an excuse? The failed parent. The entertainment industry is the best scapegoat there is for failed parents.....It's perfect. You don't even need any facts to back it up."
2) He was trying get people disgusted, but as the late Justice Scalia said to Justice Alito in the Brown v. EMA decision, "Disgust is not a valid basis for restricting (free) expression."
That's basically it. He knew that the Supreme Court decision in Brown v. EMA basically killed his idea, so he had to hide behind an imaginary eight year old to justify his argument like out of the playbook of the Parents Television Council or disbarred nutjob Jack Thompson. And I've seen that play used before.
In 2006, Louisiana state representative Roy Burrell(D-Shreveport) filed an anti-video game bill that Jack Thompson claimed to have written and even testified on behalf of the bill in committee. Never mind that Louisiana had just been hammered toe to heel by Hurricanes Katrina and Rita the year before. And never mind that Thompson was, and still is, not a resident of Louisiana and probably should not have even been allowed to testify. Burrell was never called out on this in the legislature, but he used two online games(Border Patrol and Kingdom of Loathing, the latter of which used stick figures) that were only available to play online and were never available for sale anywhere in the US(which meant those games wouldn't have been covered under his bill, because it only applied to games sold in brick-and-mortar stores) to justify his and Thompson's bullshit arguments to get the bill past committee.
The bill passed, and our idiot governor at the time Kathleen Blanco signed it into law to take effect immediately after she signed it. Until the video game industry received an immediate injunction from a federal judge in Baton Rouge blocking enforcement and eventually got the law thrown out as unconstitutional. Not before Thompson took his ball and went home figuratively and literally, probably because the Louisiana state attorney general at the time, Charles Foti, wouldn't let him run the show. Former GamePolitics.com editor-in-chief Dennis McCauley referred to Thompson as "Terrell Owens with a law degree".
As pro wrestler Dutch Mantel/Zeb Colter once said, "If you can't bedazzle someone with brillance, befuddle them with bullshit."
In conclusion, I look it at this way. Even if there were a video game sold in America that had rape in it, it should not matter. The video game industry should be allowed to explore mature subject matter just like a movie, a TV show, or a book, if the industry is expected to mature as a whole. Especially when the average age of a person playing a video game is near 40 and adults buy the vast majority of video games. Whether a game like that would sell or not is another story. But as I mentioned before, the entire entertainment industry shouldn't be held hostage so everything is suitable for 8 year olds who are still easily amused by farting, pooping, peeing, and vomiting. It was always the parent's job to control their children's media input and teach them the difference between right and wrong. And just because parents today are not as attentive to their children as they used to be for whatever reasons doesn't mean that government should get involved.
*-I wonder which social media site has more idiots and morons, Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr, or YouTube?
**-At first, the idiot tried to claim "gang rape", but after I called him out on that statement, he changed it to "serial rape". Still made him look ridiculous. And defeated the purpose of his argument.
P.S.-There might be a small rant on the state of parenting today at a later date. Scoot summed it up on his show June 22nd when an officer with the Jefferson Parish Sheriff Office was shot and killed by a 19-year-old suspect who feared going back to jail on a probation violation for carrying a gun illegally. A lot of today's problems with violent crime(even though violent crime is down since 1991) can be traced back to when the sperm penetrates the egg because of what he called "conquest sex".
Monday, June 27th marks the fifth anniversary of the US Supreme Court's decision in Brown v. EMA, originally called Schwarzenegger v. EMA because then-California governor Arnold Schwarzenegger filed the appeal, but left office before the decision was reached. Current California governor Jerry Brown bears just as much responsibility as Schwarzenegger since Brown was the state's Attorney General during Schwarzenegger's tenure before becoming governor again. For those who haven't read my LiveJournal blogposts before, here's the basics of the decision, which was a 7-2 vote to affirm the previous ruling by the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals with Justice Antonin Scalia writing the majority opinion:
-Video games are free speech under the First Amendment(Freedom of Speech)
-Video games can NOT be treated differently than any other forms of entertainment under the Fourteenth Amendment(Equal Protection)
-Fake "violent" content in all forms of entertainment is exempt from obscenity laws
-People under 18 have a First Amendment right to view free speech with or without parental permission as long as the material in question is not judged to be obscene
And contrary to what some idiots on Twitter may think, the late Justice Scalia did indeed shut the door entirely on legislating fake "violent" content in any entertainment medium, and Justice Alito admitted it in the concurring opinion he wrote. And SCOTUSBlog, a website run by a lawfirm that has argued cases before the US Supreme Court, reviewed the case and basically agreed that the door was slammed shut.
Three years ago, I posted a two part essay on the two year anniversary explaining how the video game industry pretty much left it up to the gaming community to fight the propaganda pushed by so-called parental advocacy groups still stung by how badly California lost in the US Supreme Court in those groups' continued assault on personal accountability and their continued playing of the "Blame Game". I said then and still think that the industry needs to do more than just remain silent.
Last year, I posted another essay on the fourth anniversary lamenting that the gaming community had shifted from fighting the politicians to fighting amongst ourselves because of the push by GINOs(gamers in name only) like Sarkessian and her boytoy McIntosh to shove political correctness onto the industry and the community. And those assclowns have also been playing the "Blame Game" along with several members of the video game news media, who have now become no different than the tabloid trash mainstream news media.
I know it's being redundant, but even with the US Supreme Court decision, we in the gaming community shouldn't rest on our laurels. Ignorant people, whether it's politicians, the average person on social media, or even within our own community, are still going to attack our pastime and we should be ready to defend it, no matter what, because no one else will outside of the courtrooms.
A couple of months ago, the people running GamePolitics.com made the tough decision to stop updating the site with new stories as there has been no major legislative attempts to censor the medium or restrict sales of video games since the US Supreme Court's decision in Brown v. EMA outside of a couple of weak attempts in the aftermath of the mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut by state politicians in Connecticut and New Jersey that went nowhere. As a matter of fact, no politician, whether it's a member of either house of the United States Congress or a state politician, seems willing to challenge the US Supreme Court's decision in Brown v. EMA. And lastly, the hysteria against fake "violent" video games seems to have died out, at least in the tabloid trash news media. Longtime GamePolitics commentors and writers Andrew Eisen and E. Zachary Knight went as far to say on their newly named Molehill Mountain podcast formerly known as Super Podcast Action Committee that they feel like the ship has now sailed on legislating the content and the sales of fake "violent" video games.
But I do have to ask, did that ship really sail away? Was it like a Viking funeral where the boat was set on fire as it was set adrift? Or was the ship submersible and the captains of that ship are just waiting for the next opportunity to present itself and come back to port?
I pointed out in my three part essay "Will Fake 'Violent" Media Even Be A Campaign Issue in 2016?" that, despite past comments made against the video game industry by the presumed Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton and the presumed Republican nominee Donald Trump, the issue of fake "violent" media hasn't even been brought up by any of the Presidential candidates except one, Bobby Bitchcakes Jindal, and he dropped out of the race in November, well before the first caucuses and primaries even started. And I had a Letter to the Editor ready to go in case someone responded to Jindal's stupidity in newspapers, but nobody ever did. Neither Clinton nor Trump have said anything about fake "violent" video games since announcing their candidacies around this time last year, leading myself and other video game bloggers like Patrick Scott Patterson to wonder if either one of them still feel the same way they did when they first made their comments about video games. However, I've surmised that neither one will say anything about fake "violent" video games for fear it will cost him or her the Presidency like it did Al Gore in 2000. Because Gore tried to make fake "violent" media a campaign issue, he basically handed George W. Bush the election.
Even though both Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump have spoken negatively on fake "violent" video games in the past, the gaming community is seemingly more concerned about and less trusting of Clinton than of Trump, and rightfully so, because Hillary actually filed federal legislation in 2005 when she was a US Senator representing New York. It also doesn't help that she hung around Tipper Gore for the better part of a decade while Hillary's husband Bill was President and Tipper's husband Al was Vice President.
But what did help the video game industry is that the rest of the entertainment industry has had their back for the most part. The Motion Picture Association of America(MPAA) and the RIAA both filed amicus briefs(friend of the court) in support of the video game industry before the oral arguments in Brown v. EMA, basically throwing down a gauntlet to the politicians saying if you mess with the video game industry, you're also messing with us. What also helps the video game industry is that while some politicians claim to have supported censorship of the entertainment media, those politicians happen to be hypocrites who still readily accept campaign contributions from the very same Hollywood actors, directors, and studio executives whose work they sought to censor.
Plus, neither the Democrats nor the Republicans have really been able to get a supermajority in either house of Congress in the last 25 years or so. And it seems like whenever one party wins the White House, the other party ends up with control of one or both houses of Congress. And lately, neither the Democrats nor the Republicans seem willing to compromise and work together. So nothing really gets done besides passing the federal budget for each year. While it might have helped with this particular issue, this toxic political divide hurts on other, more important issues. It also helps that the politicians have been more concerned with bigger and more important issues, like the economy and terrorism.
And even if Clinton or Trump were magically able to get enough bipartisan support for an attempt to challenge the Brown v. EMA ruling with another law in hopes that it would somehow pass Constitutional muster, they'd only be wasting their time and taxpayers' money(though the certified billionaire Trump might be crazy enough to pay for the defense of the bill out of his own pockets).
But then again, fake "violent" media hasn't been the hot-button issue it once was in the late 1990's and throughout the 2000's, especially after Columbine. The issue has really become non-existent in the last few years since the furor over Sandy Hook died down. While Bobby Bitchcakes tried to make it an issue after last October's shooting at a Roseburg, Oregon community college, he got virtually no publicity outside of a brief mention on local newscasts since he was still Louisiana governor at the time. There might have been a veiled attempt by the tabloid trash news media at making it an issue after the murders of Roanoke television reporter Alison Parker and cameraman Adam Ward on live TV last August(including the New York Daily News and a UK newspaper publishing on their front fucking pages an image of Alison being shot by her murderer who was filming it himself and posted it online before he killed himself), but the attempt fizzled out because the murderer was motivated by race.
In the third and last part of "Will Fake 'Violent' Media Even Be A Campaign Issue in 2016?", I also pointed out that if the US Supreme Court says something cannot be banned, then that thing simply cannot be banned, and that the President of the United States cannot overturn a US Supreme Court decision. So anybody hoping that Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump will use an executive order to overturn Brown v. EMA is completely S.O.L.(Shit Out of Luck), especially after a split Supreme Court just recently allowed the Fifth Circuit's ruling that President Barack Obama couldn't use executive orders to go around Congress in his attempt to change immigration policy to stand in a 4-4 vote. That's why this country is governed by a series of checks and balances on each branch of the government almost like a game of rock, paper, scissors. It's just hard to correctly figure out which branch is rock, which one is paper, and which one's scissors.
And the US Supreme Court has made a lot of rulings over the years that people have disagreed with. Here's a few examples:
-In 1962, the Court ruled that the administrators and teachers in public schools leading the students in prayer was a violation of the First Amendment and violated the Constitution's guarantee of the Separation of Church and State, because public schools are a government entity(Engel v. Vitale)
-In 1963, they ruled that forcing students to read the Bible in public schools was unconstitutional(Ablington School District v. Schempp)
-In 1965, the Court found that states' bans on married couples getting birth control pills were unconstitutional(Griswold v. Connecticut)
-In 1968, the Court ruled that states' bans on teaching the theory of evolution in public schools were unconstitutional(Epperson v. Arkansas)
-In 1972, they ruled that states' bans on unmarried women getting birth control pills were unconstitutional(Eisenstadt v. Baird)
-In 1973, the Court ruled that banning women from getting an abortion which is terminating an unplanned or unwanted pregnancy was unconstitutional under the Fourth Amendment(Roe v. Wade)
-In 1977, the Court ruled that the Ku Klux Klan could hold an anti-Semitism rally in Skokie, Illinois, a city that held one of the largest Jewish populations in America(National Socialist Party of America v. Skokie)
-In 1989, they found that burning the American flag was free speech protected by the First Amendment(Texas v. Johnson)
-In 2010, they found that a federal government ban on "crush videos" in which people are filmed stomping on small animals was unconstitutionally vague(United States v. Stevens; the Court set aside Schwarzenegger v. EMA until they heard oral arguments and decided on this case)
-In March 2011, three months before the US Supreme Court made its decision in Brown v. EMA, they ruled that the Westboro Baptist Church's anti-gay protests at funerals of American military personnel was protected under the First Amendment(Snyder v. Phelps, which the Court heard oral arguments on a month before they heard oral arguments in Schwarzenegger v. EMA)
-In June 2015, the Court found that states' bans on same-sex marriage were unconstitutional under the Fourteenth Amendment(Obergefell v. Hodges)
I mentioned a few non-First Amendment cases to make this point. There really hasn't been a major backlash against the US Supreme Court's decision in Brown v. EMA like some of us gamers were thinking there might be. In the last year, there's been a much bigger backlash against the Court's recognition of same-sex marriage as a right protected by the US Constitution than there has against the Brown v. EMA ruling. How big has that backlash been? A lot of states are now trying to ban transgendered people from using the bathroom of the gender they most identify with. There was one Presidential candidate, Bobby Bitchcakes Jindal, who actually called for the US Supreme Court to be disbanded over that ruling. What an asshole. The stupidity didn't stop there as recently, a group calling itself the National Organization for Marriage(?) told CBS News that the Supreme Court's ruling in Obergefell v. Hodges was somehow unconstitutional. Article 3, Section 2 and Article 4, Section 2 of the United States Constitution says otherwise, jackass:
-Article 3, Section 2----The judicial Power shall extend to all Cases, in Law and Equity, arising under this Constitution, the Laws of the United States, and Treaties made, or which shall be made, under their Authority.
-Article 4, Section 2----The Citizens of each State shall be entitled to all Privileges and Immunities of Citizens of the Several States
We grew up watching how some people got up in arms over the US Supreme Court's decisions in Roe v. Wade and Texas v. Johnson, including calls to amend the US Constitution to specifically ban abortion and ban burning the American flag.
Thankfully, however, the Founding Fathers made it almost impossible to amend the Constitution of the United States, especially for frivolous reasons. For any Constitutional amendment to be ratified, it must have the vote of two-thirds of both houses of the US Congress(290 out of 435 members of the House of Representatives and 67 of 100 members of the Senate) and three-fourths of the states(which currently would be 38 out of 50), and in some cases, it must be ratified within a certain time frame, usually about seven years. For example, the Equal Rights Amendment fell three states short of ratification when the time limit expired.
How hard has it been to amend the US Constitution? Only 17 Amendments have been added since the Constitution was officially ratified in December 1791. Remember, the first ten amendments are called the Bill of Rights and they came packaged with the Constitution. Only 17 times in 225 years, an average of once every 13 years or so. The last time an amendment was added was on May 7th, 1992, which says any law passed by the federal government raising or lowering the salary for each US Senator and US Representative can't take effect until the next two year term of Congress starts. Before that, the last amendment added was on July 1st, 1971 lowering the voting age to 18. And the only time that the American people tried to use the Constitution to outright ban something, which was the sale, distribution, and consumption of alcoholic beverages under the Eighteenth Amendment, they ended up having to ratify the Twenty-FIrst Amendment to overturn the Eighteenth Amendment because all it really did was lead to the rise of organized crime and the modern day Mafia and it didn't stop people from making, buying, selling, and drinking alcohol or Moonshine. A prime example of the road to Hell being paved by good intentions.
Again, to reiterate and paraphrase what Anthony Cumia said about the Congressional hearings over the Janet Jackson Super Bowl wardrobe malfunction: If you're going to infringe on a Constitutional right such as freedom of speech based on the idea that the speech in question is "dangerous", you better damn well show ABSOLUTE PROOF that the speech in question is in fact "dangerous". It was NEVER done before, California was NEVER able to prove it, and it will NEVER be done because there is simply no proof that any harm will come of anybody who plays a fake "violent" video game. And we have NEVER been given any good reason to believe that California's attempt at abridging our freedom of speech ten years ago was even necessary because there just wasn't any evidence whatsoever of any danger from fake "violent" video games. We NEVER really needed this sort of protection to begin with. Please feel free to use our tax dollars for protection against real dangers like the fuselage of an airplane or a 15 foot storm surge from a Category 4 Hurricane entering our homes and workplaces.
And thinking about it a little further, the Boston Globe recently posted and published a story about the whole debate about fake "violent" video games called "The Epic Pixel Panic" and asked if the politicians grew up. I responded on Twitter that it was my hope that the politicians finally grew up and started focusing on bigger issues and mentioned that the Brown v. EMA decision legitimized the video game industry. Now, when I say "legitimized", I was referring to outside of the gaming community. Yes, the video game industry has made billions and billions of dollars in the last 30 years since Nintendo introduced the Nintendo Entertainment System(NES), resurrecting the industry in the process. However, I feel like the video game industry, as an industry, as a means of entertainment, and as an artform, didn't start getting the respect it deserved until the judicial system got involved and consistently said that video games are not responsible for a person's bad or evil behavior and that video games are protected by the US Constitution's guarantee of free speech under the First Amendment.
So, has the ship really sailed? Well, yeah, I think it ultimately has sailed and wound up as a Viking funeral. The US Supreme Court agreeing to even hear California's appeal despite no split among the Appeals Court circuits was nothing more than a Pyrrhic victory for groups like the Parents Television Council and Common Sense Media.
Don't think, though, that I'm going stop talking about video games. We should stay prepared just in case. As long as there are still ignorant people who know nothing about how personal responsibility really works or people using the latest tragedies like the murder of rising pop star singer Christina Grimmie in Orlando June 10th or the terrorist attack on the LGBT nightclub there the very next night by a radical Islamic terrorist who may or may not have been a closet-case self-loather who was never really comfortable with his own sexuality(Brodie from Mallrats FTW) to justify their attacks on pop culture based on falsehoods propulgated by the tabloid trash news media, I'm still going to fight these assclowns and hopefully convince them to see the light, so to speak.
Scoot made another great point recently on his blog on WWL.com talking about how political correctness has gotten out of control to the point that he's seeing a new type of political correctness being practiced by both sides of the political spectrum. I see it too in the gaming community, but it's being practiced way more by the left-wing PC police. But then again, I do see this new form of polticial correctness everywhere, especially on social media like Twitter.
As a radio talk show host who constantly refers to himself as a radical moderate, Scoot stradles the fence between the left and the right. He's been called a liberal just because he supports gay rights, yet at the same time he's been called a conservative because he supports gun rights. As he says on his show and on his blog, if he says something positive about Donald Trump, he's labeled a Trump lover by some people, but if he says something negative about Trump, then he's labeled a Trump hater by others. But as former GamePolitics.com editor-in-chief Dennis McCauley once said, if you're simultaneously pissing off both sides, you must be doing something right.
And Scoot also starts his show by saying that you might disagree with he says, but that's OK because being able to disagree with someone should be celebrated, not vilified.
Here's a recent example of the new type of political correctness. Around the same time that Scoot wrote his blog piece about political correctness, James Rolfe, who rose to fame as the Angry Video Game Nerd in a series of YouTube videos which he reviewed bad video games and also reviews movies on his website Cinemassacre.com, posted a video blog on his YouTube channel saying that he was not going to be reviewing or even watching the new Ghostbusters movie coming out later this summer. Because he had mentioned numerous times in the past his love for the original movie and sees the original as a comedy classic, he felt like he was going to be expected to review the new movie. After seeing the trailers for the new movie, he felt like he was not going to like the movie and it was going to suck. So, James reasoned, if you know you're going to hate the movie, why even waste your money to go see it? James also pointed out that the new Ghostbusters movie is nothing more than a soulless remake(or "name-make" as he put it) and blatant cash-in on a celebrated franchise with no respect for said franchise, and he felt like he couldn't get around that fact to give the new movie a fair chance.
However, the PC shocktroopers got up in arms over James's refusal to see the movie and called him and anybody that said they weren't going to see the movie or thought it was going to suck "sexist" and "misogynst" even though A. he never said that the all female main cast was a reason he wasn't seeing the new movie and B. he was actually critical of people referring to the new Ghostbusters movie as "the female Ghostbusters" mainly because it's basically become the only way to differentiate between the new movie and the original. And that was really because the movie studio gave the new movie the same name as the original, thus giving no way to really differentiate between the two besides the years they were released in(the original in 1984 and the remake in 2016) and the gender swapping of the main characters.
Seriously, how does not wanting to go see a crappy movie where all the main characters happen to be female make a person "sexist" or a "misogynst"? There's several reasons why the first trailer for the new Ghostbusters movie became the most disliked movie trailer ever on YouTube(at least 800,000 dislikes from what I understand) and all of them had absolutely nothing to do with the fact that it has an all female main cast:
1) The special effects were garbage, being compared to the live-action Scooby-Doo and Disney's The Haunted Mansion(movies that came out at least a decade earlier), and were somehow worse than the original Ghostbusters movie, despite the technological advances that have been made in the last thirty years
2) The writing was garbage and the jokes in the trailer weren't funny. If the movie supposed to be a comedy, the trailer should make the audience laugh. It apparently didn't
3) It's a remake with no real connection to the original movie. Apparently, the remaining surviving main cast members(Bill Murray, Dan Akyroyd, Ernie Hudson) will make cameos, but not as their characters from the original movie
4) The original movie shouldn't have even been re-made to begin with. People in general are getting tired of Hollywood re-making older movies instead of coming up with original ideas because it's become easier to make money off the names of older franchises than trying to create new franchises to make money off of
The Amazing Atheist made a great point when he talked about how bad the trailer was and pointed out a major flaw in the whole argument that everybody's mysogynst if they didn't like the new Ghostbusters movie. Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens(a direct sequel to the original trilogy and not a reboot as some idiot writer from the Atlantic claimed) and Rogue One: A Star Wars Story(a prequel set before The Force Awakens) both have female protagonists and the trailers for the two movies were overwhelmingly loved mainly because the trailers made you want to see the movies. The only complaints that Amazing Atheist has heard about Rey from The Force Awakens is that she's a Mary Sue, which is the same complaint I've seen about Lacus Clyne in the anime Mobile Suit Gundam Seed. What is a Mary Sue? A character who seems to be too perfect. That's basically what a Mary Sue is.
Unrelated to Ghostbusters, The Nostalgia Critic Doug Walker also pointed out in a recent editorial video called "Is White Washing Really Still A Thing?" that there's been complaints about the live-action Ghost in the Shell movie starring Scarlett Johanssen because Scarlett's a white actress playing an Asian role, even though the Japanese people living in Japan that were shown the trailer did not a problem with it. Doug also pointed out that people are also complaining that in the upcoming Doctor Strange movie, a Celtic actress is playing a character that was originally a Tibetian monk in the comic book, though he brought up that 15% of Marvel Studios' ticket sales came from China and China does not like Tibet at all as a possible reason for at least the cultural switch of that particular character. Lastly, he also noted that people had no problem with Keanu Reeves starring in a live-action Cowboy Bebop movie.
Now, somebody has suggested that Sony may be stirring the pot to drum up interest in the movie(including allegedly bribing the media, which opens up a whole new can of worms), and I think that theory may have some merit to it, considering that comedians Patton Oswalt and Dane Cook put their two cents in. While Dane Cook is not worth mentioning as he hasn't been relevant or even funny in a decade, Patton Oswalt does technically work for Sony, as he works on the ABC TV show The Goldbergs(which Sony's TV studio distributes and is getting ready to start its 4th season in the fall) as the adult voice of show creator and executive producer Adam F. Goldberg as he's looking back on his childhood. Maybe Sony showed him James Rolfe's video and gave Oswalt some extra cash to talk about somebody's refusal to see the new Ghostbusters movie. And Sony needs a hit movie, as they basically gave the rights to Spider-Man back to Marvel Studios and they're still feeling the effects of the hacking of their e-mail servers almost two years ago.
Also, Patton Oswalt's recently deceased wife apparently participated in the making of the new Ghostbusters movie(she was a writer?), so, to me, Oswalt was not being 100% impartial or 100% objective in his criticism of James Rolfe. That is, if Oswalt even watched the video. Looked like he did, since he gave a back-handed compliment to James' video and Oswalt later issued a non-apology "apology", simply saying that he picked the wrong person to mess with. Oswalt still owes James a full apology and and should personally apologize to him.
The point is, the trailer wasn't good, it didn't make the new Ghostbusters movie look good at all, and it didn't really make the people that were trying to keep an open mind about it really want to go see it. That's the point of a movie trailer. It's a two minute advertisement for the movie to get people to see the movie. And just because you might have liked the trailer and wanted to see the movie anyway doesn't mean everyone else did. You can't force someone into liking what you like. People have different tastes. Then again, people might go see the movie just to see how bad it is and how badly they fucked up the franchise, even if they might end up reliving that South Park episode where everybody that went to see Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull acted like they just watched George Lucas and Steven Spielberg rape Indiana Jones over and over again using rape scenes from different movies like The Accused.
But it shows how political correctness has gotten out of hand. There's a huge difference between being geniunely offended and just looking to be offended. And very often, especially when it comes to the content of the speech in question, it's the latter that happens. People today are constantly looking to be offended because they ultimately want to force their own beliefs on everyone else.
James Guttman made a great point in his book "Shoot First, Ask Questions Later" when he talked about why he fell in love with our American political system as a child. Since we were kids, we were taught that, as Americans, we have been given the chance to speak out, to question things, and that we can speak our minds freely without the fear of persecution or even prosecution, something other countries and terrorist organizations fear the most about America.
Today, however, it's damn near impossible to have an honest debate when people are too worried about using ambiguous words or phrases. We are losing the spirit of the First Amendment. People should not be afraid to speak out and use whatever type of language they want against someone or something if they think that person or thing is wrong, regardless if they support it or not. People should be able to speak out without fear of being falsely and myopicly labeled just because someone didn't like what that person said. If that fear of persecution is allowed to exist, then people can only express their opposition with anger and hatred, which could eventually lead to violence. We're seeing that in both Democratic and Republican party candidacies.
Being free to speak openly about any topic at any time without the fear of persecution allows society to stay civilized and functional. Jesse Ventura should be able to say "Organized religion is a sham and a crutch for weak-minded people who need strength in numbers" without him or his family being threatened or being falsely called a 'bigot' by a failed Presidential candidate(2000 would-be Republican nominee Gary Bauer) and a failed Vice Presidential candidate(Geraldine Ferraro, who was Walter Mondale's running mate in 1984). James Rolfe should be able to say that he's not going to see the new Ghostbusters movie without being falsely called 'sexist' or 'misogynst' or his wife being falsely called a 'gold digger'. A disabled person should be able to say "I'm tired of seeing my hobby being attacked" without some gun contol Nazi falsely calling him an 'NRA terrorist' or another idiot falsely accusing him of attacking a Sandy Hook victim's family because these morons automatically assumed that he was referring to guns when he was actually referring to video games. Which shows another reason political correctness is out of control. I'm sorry, that last thing still bothers me. I really find it completely pathetic that these two assholes were triggered by the word 'hobby'. I mean, when these people go shopping, do they avoid going to Hobby Lobby? That place only sells arts and crafts stuff. Those two jackasses should be embarrassed and ashamed of themselves.
Also, disagree with and criticize the person all you want, but leave their families completely out of it. Just because James Rolfe said he wasn't going to to see the new Ghostbusters movie doesn't give anyone the right to attack his wife and/or his young disabled daughter over his opinion of the movie. Like some assclown named Devin Faraci said on Twitter that AlphaOmegaSin's son should be taken away from him because Alpha referred to Zoe Quinn as a slut who sucked and fucked her way to become famous(which she apparently admitted to doing). Attacking young children just makes you look much, much worse and an even bigger asshole than the person you're criticizing.
And that is part of yet another problem in America that is being caused by political correctness. The PC police created this bizarre, stupid premise that if you don't agree with or accept ONE particular person out of ONE particular group, then you are somehow 'bashing' EVERYONE in that entire group and that, in turn, has led to the idea that somehow everyone in any group is either all good or all bad with no inbetween, which is equally asinine.
People today have become so quick to use terms like "racist" or "misogynst" while making little, if any, effort to examine the content of a person's character or the context of that same person's statement. This rush to make an automatic assumption about a person based on one comment made about anyone, whether it's about a police officer, a Presidential candidate, a professional athlete, an actress, and so on and so forth, is attempting to make that person become afraid of being judged just for daring to criticize somebody for something they did if that person felt what was done was wrong. Through this new form of political correctness, the PC police are in reality protecting people guilty of behaving in an unacceptable manner and that's wrong. And through that new form of political correctness, people will become less likely to speak their minds openly, and that's a violation of the spirit of the First Amendment and it spits in the face of not just our Founding Fathers, but everyone who ever fought to defend the United States of America.
You shouldn't be so blindly loyal to something that you blindly defend someone or some group you support while not allowing others to be critical of that same person or group. However, if someone does try to blame someone or something you support(like, for example, video games) for something they're not or were never responsible for to begin with(for example, Columbine, Sandy Hook, etc.), then you need to defend that person or that thing regardless of what other people think. The tabloid trash mainstream news media isn't going to defend it. Neither will their gatekeeper hosts like Nancy Grace or Bill O'Reilly. Those assclowns will continue to pour gasoline on the fire and fan the flames.
And all because some self-important, self-righteous, hypocritical jackasses pretending to be for equal rights continue to turn tiny antpiles into mountains the size of Mount Everest. The PC police act like the video game industry and the gaming community need to "grow up", but in reality, they're the ones who should practice what they preach. Jack Thompson never learned that lesson and he got disbarred for life with no opportunity for reinstatement.
Scoot's WWL.com blog "The New Political Correctness Movement Is Scary": http://www.wwl.com/Scoot-The-new-political-correctness-movement-is-sc/13069478?pid=523755&do=1&stnBlogPage=true
The CW continues to show why the network's co-owner CBS considers it its redheaded stepchild. Back in March, the CW decided to just go ahead and renew all 11 of the shows they were airing or were on winter hiatus at the time:
Legends of Tomorrow
The Vampire Diaries
Jane The Virgin
By renewing every show, I took it to mean that they basically said, "Fuck it, we don't care. Hell, we've stopped caring."
To be fair, if I remember correctly, the CW tends to focus more on online viewing and DVR viewing than on people watching the show at the appointed timeslots, but it shouldn't be an excuse to keep shows that are barely a blip on the viewership radar like Jane The Virgin(average rating in the advertisers' target demographic of adults 18-to-49, a 0.37), Crazy Ex-Girlfriend(0.29!), and Reign(0.31, though it mainly aired on Fridays, before The Vampire Diaries and The Originals was moved there in winter to make room for Legends of Tomorrow). Or keep shows that are showing their age like The Vampire Diaries, its spinoff The Originals, and Supernatural. Especially Supernatural as it's the only show left over from either of the two networks that merged into The CW, The WB and UPN, which was over 10 years ago.
Also, because the CW renewed all of its shows, what happens to all the pilots that they were looking at for next season? Do they just not pick up any new shows at all? Well, as it turns out, as of this writing, they did pick up a few series:
-a revival of MADtv, which aired on Fox for over a decade as a competitor to Saturday Night Live and it's going straight to series for at least 8 episodes
-Riverdale, based off of Archie Comics and produced by the producers of The Flash, Arrow, Supergirl, and Legends of Tomorrow
-Frequency, a TV version of the 2000 Dennis Quaid movie with Peyton List(The Tomorrow People, The Flash) as the main character
And then CBS renewed Supergirl for a second season and promptly handed the show off to the CW, since it's produced by the producers of The Flash, Arrow, and Legends of Tomorrow and distributed by the CW's other co-owner Warner Bros. and it apparently didn't do as well as CBS hoped it would after a strong start.
So, now what? Looking at the pilot list, the only new show I am remotely interested in is Riverdale because I grew up reading Archie Comics. But even then, it depended on when it would air. Monday nights was already full for me with WWE Monday Night Raw, Supergirl, and Lucifer. Which now creates a problem because if Supergirl stays on Monday nights, because WNOL 38 here in New Orleans airs the CW shows at 8pm Central time, it would put Supergirl and Lucifer on at the same time.
How would the CW schedule its shows in the fall? How many episodes should each show get? It's a no-brainer that The Flash and Arrow will get the full 22 episodes as they're the CW's top two shows, but what about the others? Based on ratings, only Legends of Tomorrow and maybe Supernatural should get 22, and everything else gets 13 based on if they improve on a week-to-week basis.
In the role of armchair TV schedule maker, I would give The Flash, Arrow, Legends of Tomorrow, The 100, iZombie, Supergirl, and maybe The Originals the full 22 episodes for the season. Supernatural and The Vampire Diaries would also get the full 22 with the caveat that this coming season will be their final seasons. Jane the Virgin, Crazy Ex-Girlfriend, and Reign would get only 13 episodes and either moved to summer or I would consider the cost of getting back the timeslots on Sunday nights and put them there as counter-programming. Let's be honest, they got killed on Monday nights against Dancing With The Stars, The Voice, Supergirl, Scorpion, Gotham, and Lucifer. Well, that was because those two shows sucked and have goofy premises.
Also, I would be on the phone with DC Comics and Warner Bros. to remove the shackles from Batman and let me do a proper live-action Batman TV show. If you did a live-action Batman TV show like The Flash and Arrow but in the same vein as Batman the Animated Series or the Batman Arkham video games, it would double the audience The Flash gets. (Don't get me started on Gotham. My cousins and I gave up on it after the first season.)
The CW painted itself into a corner by renewing everything, and they only have themselves to blame for it.
When you're defending the video game industry, you have to know that, despite the US Supreme Court decision in Brown v. EMA, you're fighting an uphill battle in the court of public opinion, which is known for being full of idiots and sheeple. Simple reason is because they believe everything they see in the tabloid trash mainstream news media because the video game industry's voices are never heard on Fox News, CNN, msnbc, etc. And the reason for that is twofold: 1)the video game industry refused to take part in the bullshit brigade for the most part and 2)the tabloid trash mainstream news media never had an interest in getting both sides of the story to begin with. After all, the only thing the news media likes better than building somebody up is tearing that same person down. That's why the video game industry has always had that "image problem", but as the saying goes, any publicity is good publicity.
To quote Don Henley, "We all know crap is king, give us dirty laundry".
When you're fighting against the grain all the time, it's easy to become jaded, and as a result, it becomes easy to miss when a fellow gamer is being sarcastic. It doesn't help when it's hard and sometimes impossible to tell when someone is being sarcastic online.
It's also hard to tell if an anti-video game group(someone has begun using the term vidyaphobic to describe these people) is a legitimate group or a parody. Mainly because those people don't tell you one way or the other, instead choosing to stick with the role-playing. If that is what they're doing or these people really do believe their own bullshit.
As WWE manager Zeb Colter/Dutch Mantel once said, "If you can't bedazzle them with brillance, befuddle them with bullshit."
Or as Richard Belzer put it in his book "UFO's, JFK, & Elvis", "If you tell a lie that's big enough and tell it often enough, most people will believe you're telling the truth even when what you're saying is total crap."
People and groups like that can be annoying, as they ignore everything because it doesn't fit their myopic viewpoint. Their egos have become so big that it's blurred their vision of reality. They'd rather keep the big lie going than face the cold, hard truth. The cold, hard truth being that fake "violence" in any form of entertainment is protected by the 1st Amendment whether it's in video games, movies, books, TV shows, internet videos, whatever. You can thank the late Justice Antonin Scalia and blame former California governor Arnold Schwarzenegger for the cold, hard fact that fake "violent" video games can never be banned for any reason whatsoever. We won the war. Deal with it.
Also, I love it when the idiots throw the typical stereotypes of gamers when they do their usual whining. :rolls eyes: You know, the living in my parents' basement, which I find slanderous since I live in Southeast Louisiana, a place that's barely above sea level(New Orleans is below sea level) and has been losing acres of wetlands for decades due to coastal eroison and the Mississippi River being locked in place. Living in a basement would be suicidal. And besides that, my parents died years ago(my dad in 2001, my mom in 2010), so my brother and I co-own the house we live in.
Another stereotype that gaining ground with these fools is "all mass shooters are young white gamers". Which is a blatant lie. Look at the most recent mass shootings:
-San Bernardino, California(Dec. 2015): Terrorist attack by Muslim extremist terrorists, one male, one female, both of Middle Eastern descent, both killed by police in shootout
-Paris, France(Nov. 2015): Terrorist attack by Muslim extremist terrorists, all males, all of Middle Eastern descent, all but one killed themselves and that person was arrested months later in Brussels.
-Brussels, Belgium(Feb/Mar 2016): Terrorist attack by Muslim extremist terrorists, all three males of Middle Eastern descent(though this was actually a bombing, I still counted it), two of three killed themselves, third was later arrested by Belgian police
-Colorado Springs, Colorado(day after Thanksgiving, Nov. 2015): Murder of three people including a police officer at a Planned Parenthood clinic by a middle aged white male, arrested and awaiting trial
-Roseburg, Oregon(Oct. 2015): shooting at a community college, shooter said to be a young white male who killed himself
-Roanoke, Virginia(Aug. 2015): Murders of TV reporter Alison Parker and TV cameraman Adam Ward by an African-American former co-worker at the TV station where they worked; murderer later killed himself before he could be arrested
-Lafayette, Louisiana(July 2015): Two murdered, 11 others injured in a shooting at a movie theater during screening of movie Trainwreck by a middle aged white male who killed himself
-Charleston, South Carolina(June 2015): Nine African-Americans killed in a church by a young white male who was a white supremacist racist, arrested and awaiting trial
If these morons are going to be pushing an agenda, even if everything they're saying is a lie and their agenda is based on a false narrative, they shouldn't be so damned ignorant of the facts. I mean, they can't be that fucking stupid, can they?
It's ridiculous to stereotype, but it's easier to caricature your opponent and ignore facts than actually debate them.
Scoot made a great point about stereotyping on his April 22nd show. If all gamers are young people who live in their parents' basements or they commit all the mass shootings in the world, does that mean that all middle aged white men are child pornographers and pedophiles? After all, it seems like every time when there's a story about someone getting busted for having naked photos of children, it's almost always a middle aged white man.
Let's keep going with the stereotypes. Are all Muslims jihadists and terrorists? Are all young black men gangbangers? Do all Asian men have small dicks? And on that thread, are all black men genitalactic freaks of nature like 2 Cold Scorpio, as Mick Foley put it in "Have A Nice Day! A Tale of Blood and Sweatsocks"?
Stereotyping is part of America's most popular game. I'm not talking about NFL football or Grand Theft Auto. It's called "The Blame Game". We've been the hosts and the contestants on that show ever since some assclown and his vulture lawyer got a lighter sentence by successfully convincing 12 idiots on a jury that eating Twinkies caused his evil actions and also since the vultures in the tabloid trash mainstream news media decided to feast on the fears of the old farts watching their newscasts to keep their asses in their rocking chairs. Because it's much easier to divert blame and to make excuses for people's behavior than actually teaching people that they're the only ones responsible for their actions.
It's become much easier to blame a tangible product like a fake "violent" video game or a gun than it is to blame the person who made the choice to commit a crime. Because to a weak-minded person, there has to be a reason why a person like the Sandy Hook shooter behaved the way they did, and blaming the parents for not raising that person right isn't enough for them. So when the vultures and serpents that call themselves lawyers call them to offer up a reason why, they listen. Why? Because the entertainment industry and the gun industry makes a lot more money than the average criminal. So at the risk of never getting closure, these weak-minded people choose to put a price tag on the lives of their loved ones for phantom riches they'll never receive.
As Scoot said, "until we return to respecting and demanding personal responsibility for behavior," free speech such as fake "violent" video games or "something as insignificant as candy cigarettes on the market will be blamed for negative behavior that should be blamed on individual decisions."
In the last year since the US Supreme Court ruled that same-sex marriage was protected by the 14th Amendment, the fake Christians whining about the decision have been pushing these so-called "religious liberty/religious freedom" laws, which do nothing but allow fake Christians to use their "religious beliefs" to continue to discriminate against the LGBT community or anyone else that doesn't follow their beliefs under the guise of freedom of religion, warping the Founding Fathers' words and beliefs to their own purposes.
And people wonder why more and more Americans are declaring that they follow no religion. It's because of these self-righteous, holier than thou hypocrites. Your religious beliefs don't make your shit stink any less than anybody else's. Those beliefs do not make you above the law, so to speak. Anti-video game zealot Jack Thompson found that out the hard way when the Florida Supreme Court disbarred him for life in 2008 with no opportunity for reinstatement on 27 ethics violations.
People like that are why the Founding Fathers refused to give the United States an official religion when they had the chance. The Founding Fathers saw first-hand how corrupt religion became with government sponsorship(the Church of England, which was only formed because King Henry VIII wanted to divorce his first wife because he wanted a son and he felt that she was unable to produce a male heir for him).
To be fair, this crap actually started last year with Indiana passing a "religious liberty" law which immediately received so much backlash, it caused legislators in Indiana to add weak amendments to that law, the governor of Arkansas to veto similiar legislation, and Louisiana state legislators to vote against a similiar measure in committee by a 10-2 vote.
Bobby Bitchcakes was so upset over the bill's failure in this state that he signed an executive order making the bill law, after he criticized President Obama for pushing his agenda through executive orders rather than working with Congress. New Louisiana governor John Bel Edwards recently signed a new executive order rescinding that one.
This month alone, Georgia's governor vetoed a similar bill after Disney and at least one other movie studio threatened to pull filming projects from the state(despite Georgia offering tax credits to production companies to film in their state; Louisiana does also offer those tax credits, but budget deficits caused by Jindal leading to the state putting a cap on the tax credits have caused those companies to film elsewhere) followed by the NFL threatening to withhold future Super Bowls from Atlanta, which is currently bidding against New Orleans, Tampa, and Miami for Super Bowls 53 and 54. And supporters of the legislation are being crybabies about it, with the sponsor of the bill going as far as to say that he would try to get a special session of the legislature conviened just to override the governor's veto.
And people whining about the NFL's involvement should get over it. The NFL refused to hold a Super Bowl in Arizona because the state refused to make Martin Luther King Jr. Day a state holiday. Since Arizona made MLK Day a state holiday, they've hosted 3 Super Bowls(30, 42, 49)
Louisiana is trying again, but the legislation is actually scaled down from what it was last year where it only applies to protecting priests and other clergy who refuse to officiate a gay marriage.
Mississippi is also considering similiar legislation.
However, North Carolina's governor signed one into law in response to the city of Charlotte passing an ordinance barring discrimination against the LGBT community. It goes far beyond Indiana's that people are calling North Carolina's law "the bathroom law" because it forces transgendered people to use the restroom of the gender that's on their birth certificate.
Last year, my hometown newspaper, The Houma Courier, had a great editorial criticizing Bobby Bitchcakes for supporting the original bill and criticizing his response to critics of it(which included Jindal laughably saying that the bill shouldn't be compared to the racist Jim Crow laws and that gay rights weren't the same thing as the civil rights movement in the 60's) by saying simply "It's still bigotry".
There are several problems with the bill. First off, it's unconstitutional under the 14th Amendment(No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States) and in my humble opinion, the 1st Amendment in several different ways(starting with the separation of church and state clause, it violates the right of peaceful assembly of the people being discriminated against, it respects an establishment of religion even if the religion is unspecified, and it violates the freedom of speech of the people being discrimated against).
Second, I've said that respect is a two-way street along with trust. So is discrimination. Sure, Christians would be allowed by this legislation to discriminate against anyone that doesn't fit their beliefs and I'm not just talking about gay people, but also Atheists, Wiccans, Jews, Muslims, Jedi(which is an actual religion in some places), among others. But would those same Christians be so supportive of legislation that also allows Muslims to discriminate against and deny service to Christians and Jews? Or Atheists to discriminate against and deny service to Christians or any other faith? Or even gay people to deny service to and discriminate against Christians or anybody that doesn't support gay rights if they wanted to? See where I'm going here? This bill allows anyone of any faith to discriminate against anybody without fear of government reprisal. So supporters of these bills shouldn't be surprised if laws like this lead to more crime.
Lastly, this bills could cause a loss of revenue for these states. We've already seen that the NFL threatened Georgia with barring Atlanta from hosting future Super Bowls. If the Georgia governor's veto is overridden, that could still happen. Multimedia companies like Disney and Netflix could still pull production of movies and TV shows from Georgia and North Carolina. I remember hearing that the NBA threatened to pull a future All-Star Game from Charlotte. The NCAA could decide to withhold regionals in future NCAA men's and women's basketball tournaments in those states, like they did to South Carolina over the Confederate flag flying over the state capitol building. Tourism will take a hit in those states as well. WWE could decide to stop holding any live events in those states, including WrestleMania(which New Orleans is trying to get to return in 2018).
I am 100% against these so-called "religious liberty" bills not just because of what I just outlined, but also because I believe that the words of the US Constitution must apply to every citizen of the United States of America regardless of gender, race, sexual orientation, or religious beliefs, or those words mean absolutely nothing!
To paraphrase the US Declaration of Independence, we hold these truths to be self-evident that everybody, regardless of gender, race, sexual orientation, and religious beliefs, are created equal and are endowed by whoever they acknowledge as their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these rights being Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness. These "religious liberty" laws actually hurt those rights more than they help protect, and I use the term "protect" very loosely.
I'm reminded of the monologue Christopher Titus had at the end of the episode "Tommy's Not Gay" from his old Fox sitcom "Titus".
The holier than thou religious types whine that America's "moral compass" is spinning out of control because we're becoming more accepting of homosexuals, bisexuals, and transgendered people, because we've recognized that banning same-sex marriage was unconstitutional and that legalizing it was actually the right thing to do from a moral standpoint, and because prayer was removed from public schools(which is in itself, false, as the US Supreme Court only said that the school, which is a government entity, couldn't decide on and lead the students in prayer. The student can pray all they want). No, if America's "moral compass" is spinning out of control, it's really because we've somehow stopped teaching people that there are consequences for negative behavior, that we've stopped teaching people that there is only one person that's responsible for your own actions and that is you, and that we've made excuses for a person's negative behavior by blaming everything other than the person responsible for said negative behavior.
Thinking about it a little further, Scoot made another great point on his show March 31st in a discussion about Donald Trump's comments about abortion where Trump had answered yes to a question from MSNBC's Chris Matthews if women should be punished for getting abortions and Trump later recanted saying he meant if abortion was made illegal in the US.
The point Scoot made was that the President of the United States can't overturn a US Supreme Court decision like Roe v. Wade.
Which is a good point. Just because a Presidential candidate says either on the campaign trail, in the news media, or on social media that he or she is going to do something you support or ban something you don't like, doesn't mean they actually can.
I said a few months ago that if people criticize President Obama for pushing his agendas through executive orders, you have to criticize a Republican if he does the same thing. If it's wrong for Obama to use executive orders to push an agenda to override Congress because Congress voted against it, it's also wrong for anyone else to do it, whether they're a Republican or a Democrat. Like former Louisiana governor Bobby Bitchcakes Jindal.
It also helps the video game industry and the gaming community that all of the critics of fake "violent" video games in the media and in politics have basically disappeared, whether due to Brown v. EMA or their own actions, because they......
-have been discredited as nutjobs(David Grossman, Jack Thompson, Glenn Beck)
-have been discredited as liars(Grossman, Thompson, Parents Television Council)
-had their TV talk shows cancelled to due to poor ratings(Katie Couric, Piers Morgan)
-lost their re-election campaigns(former US Rep. Joe Baca(D-CA) lost to a more liberal Democrat in 2012)
-had to resign or were booted from office due to scandal(former New York governor Eliot Spitzer, former Illinois governor Rod Blagojevich)
-are currently serving a prison sentence due to scandal(Blagojevich, California state assemblyman/senator Leland Yee)
-retired from public service(former US Senator Joe Lieberman(D/I-CT), National Institute of Media and the Family founder David Walsh)
People that played video games growing up are becoming or have become today's parents and politicians. As the older politicians are retiring, they're being replaced by people who grew up with video games in their lives and see them as harmless entertainment. Therefore, the landspace has changed drastically over the last 25 years, when Lieberman and fellow US Senator Herb Kohl(D-WI; also, does he still own the NBA Milwaukee Bucks?) first complained about fake "violent" video games in 1993(which led to the creation of the ESRB, which has become better than the MPAA's in some people's eyes).
Once again, what do people think the President of the United States or the candidates running for President can do about fake "violent" video games when the US Supreme Court ruled that fake "violent" video games are protected free speech under the 1st Amendment, can't be treated differently than other entertainment media under the 14th Amendment, and even ruled that fake "violence" in any entertainment is exempt from obscenity laws? The President of the United States can't overturn a US Supreme Court decision like Brown v. EMA.
Listening to Scoot in the Afternoon on WWL 870 AM/105.3 FM on March 9th, and he made an interesting point talking about Bernie Sanders' upset victory over Hillary Clinton in the Michigan primary for the Democrats' nomination after some polls showed Sanders trailing Hillary by more than 15 points. Scoot mentioned that he thinks a lot of Democrats were so sure that Hillary Clinton was going win their party's nomination that they decided not to run for President against her, which explains why there were only a handful of Democrats and so many Republicans in the race[I think there were only 5 Democrats to 17 Republicans; now, it's down to 2 Democrats(Hillary and Sanders) and basically 3 major Republicans(Trump, nutjob Cruz, and Kasich, maybe the only sane person remaining in the race besides Sanders)]. However, Sanders is holding his own against Clinton. Or at least was until last week.
Scoot(who refers to himself as a 'radical moderate') then mentioned that it was basically the same in 1992, where a lot of people were so sure that George H.W. Bush was going to win re-election that the vast majority of potential candidates decided not to run. Bill Clinton chose to run, and ended up winning the Presidency.
Thinking about it a little further, the same thing happened in 2000. Because of Bill Clinton's popularity, even if it did take a hit after the Monica Lewinsky scandal, a lot of people decided not to run against the presumed heir apparent Vice President Al Gore. In fact, Gore had only one major opponent for the Democrat nomination, Bill Bradley, a US Senator from New York(whose seat Hillary Clinton ended up winning that year since Bradley had decided not to run for re-election unlike Joe Lieberman, who did run for re-election to his Senate seat in addition to running for Vice President). Then again, George W. Bush only had one major opponent for the Republican nomination himself, US Senator John McCain(well, they were the only two Republicans with any type of national name recognition).
Going back to the original post, I mentioned how Gore lost in part because he alienated the youth voters that became voters through MTV's Choose or Lose voter registration campaign and helped Bill Clinton become President. Even though Gore did do town hall meetings for MTV, he was visibly uncomfortable and treated young people with disdain and disrespect because of their support of certain entertainment that he and Tipper were personally against, whereas in 1992 & in 1996, Bill Clinton embraced MTV and from seeing him on TV playing the saxophone, young people saw the governor of Arkansas as a cool cat and as someone that respected them. Well, at least until after Columbine.
While Al Gore was alienating young people by calling for censorship of fake "violent" movies, TV, video games, & rap music as well as naming long time video game critic Joe Lieberman as his Vice Presidential candidate, the Republicans saw an opening(aside from using the Lewinsky scandal against Gore) and decided that they were going to start embracing the young people that wouldn't vote for Gore under those conditions. George W. Bush even wrote in a dueling op/ed in USA Today that he would work with Hollywood to promote more family-friendly fare unlike Gore's calls for censorship.
When WWE introduced their own youth voter registration campaign called Smackdown Your Vote, the GOP invited Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson to speak at the GOP Convention(The Rock spoke on stage after Steve Young did on the 3rd day of the 4 day convention, which was the day they officially named Dick Cheney their nominee for Vice President) over the protests of certain Republicans like Brent Bozell, whose Parents Television Council was in the middle of their McCarthyist smear campaign against WWE Smackdown, as well as certain idiots in the tabloid trash mainstream news media like New York Post sportswriter Phil Mushnick(who somehow also had a weekly column in TV Guide), who was a long time critic of Vince McMahon anyway, and Margaret Carlson, a co-host on the CNN talk show Capitol Gang(and Carlson still owes The Rock an apology for calling the half-black, half-Polynesian a "racist skinhead"; as Mick Foley said in "Foley Is Good", if she had said that about Michael Jordan, she would have gotten fired on the spot).
Even when it became obvious that it was going to be George W. Bush vs. Al Gore for President, Gore was still considered the odds-on favorite. I mentioned originally how former Minnesota governor Jesse Ventura pointed out that Gore ran as if he were a conservative Republican, playing into the Republicans' hands as they were using the Lewinsky scandal against Gore. I also mentioned that Gore's alienation of the youth through naming Lieberman as his Vice President and calling for censorship of Hollywood and the video game industry made it seem like it was his wife Tipper Gore running for President instead of Al or at least running Al's campaign instead of Donna Brazile. Ventura also pointed out.......
-that Gore was expected to wipe the floor with Bush in the debates(like what people today are expecting Hillary to do with Trump if they're the turd sandwich and giant douche of 2016), but Bush held his own and Gore stumbled
-that Gore apparently refused to ask Bill Clinton to help campaign for him despite Clinton's popularity, maybe due to the GOP using the Lewinsky scandal and Clinton's subsequent impeachment trial as a campaign issue. Keeping Bill Clinton on the sidelines for whatever reason may have been the death blow to Gore's campaign
-that Gore and his supporters had no room to complain about losing Florida when Gore couldn't even win his own home state Tennessee or Bill Clinton's home state Arkansas when either one of them would given him enough electoral votes to win the election and made everything that happened in Florida irrelevant. It was funny how a supermarket tabloid had a story afterward that said Gore told Clinton to his face that Clinton cost him the election.
As I mentioned, losing the youth vote was part of the reason Gore lost the Presidency that he was virtually assured of to Bush. Like Gore, Hillary Clinton was, and still is for the most part, virtually assured of the Democratic nomination and possibly the Presidency, even though it seems like 2016 is also the GOP's to lose depending on who the GOP nominee is. If it's Cruz, Hillary's winning regardless of Cruz's claims that a vote for Donald Trump would somehow give Hillary the election in November. If Trump gets the nomination...........well, consider that Trump's candidacy was considered a joke at one point. Probably still is. Trump might be laughing last in November. Jimmy Kimmel, Stephen Colbert, Jimmy Fallon, and Conan O'Brien would never run out of material.
Point is, don't underestimate your opponent and don't overestimate yourself.
Video game blogger Patrick Scott Patterson brought up a good point on his twitter(@OriginalPSP) recently. saying that while current Presidential candidates Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump have spoken negatively about fake "violent" video games in the past......
-As a US Senator from New York, Clinton had co-authored and filed federal legislation in 2005 with long-time video game critic, former Vice Presidential candidate, and former US Senator Joseph Lieberman from Connecticut(was originally a Democrat, but retired in 2012 after winning re-election in 2006 as an independent after losing the Democratic primary); legislation went nowhere, as it died at the end of the term without even being looked at, and it disappeared after Clinton left office in 2009 to become US Secretary of State.
-Donald Trump called fake "violent" video games "evil" in a Twitter post in the aftermath of the Sandy Hook shooting in Newtown, CT in December 2012. Since then, it came out that the only video game the shooter was "obsessed" with was the non-violent Dance Dance Revolution.
..........Patterson would like to know if the two still feel the same way today. Which is a fair point, and here's why. While both us gamers and the ignorant haters that want fake "violent" video games banned for no good reason have been using Clinton's and Trump's past actions and comments either in support of or against either candidate, both Hillary and Trump have never actually mentioned fake "violent" video games or any type of fake "violent" entertainment since announcing their respective Presidential campaigns last year.
In fact, the only current or former Presidential candidate to even mention fake "violent" entertainment was former Louisiana governor Bobby Bitchcakes* Jindal in the aftermath of a shooting at a community college in Roseburg, Oregon last October. Thankfully for us gamers, Jindal's comments never went anywhere and was nothing more than a final, desperate attempt at relevancy in the race, as he was consistently at the bottom of the Republican pack and he eventually dropped out of the race a month later(Jindal has since endorsed US Senator Marco Rubio from Florida).
While I will vehemently defend the video game industry to my last breath, with time to think about it and even though it's still early in the election cycle, I am wondering if fake "violent" entertainment will even be a relevant issue in this year's Presidential election. After all, we gamers do have the late Antonin Scalia to thank for completely shutting the door on any attempt by the federal and state governments to ban fake "violence" in any form of entertainment with his majority opinion in Brown v. EMA almost five years ago. So, today, there's really nothing that any of the current Presidential candidates(whether it's Hillary, Trump, Bernie Sanders, Marco Rubio, John Kasich, or Ted Cruz) can do about fake "violent" video games or any form of fake "violent" entertainment whether they wanted to or not and even say they wanted to or not.
Consider that in 2000, when the courts were still relatively silent on video games(I think the video game industry had just won on appeal when the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled an Indianapolis law against fake "violent" video games unconstitutional, overturning the lower court ruling; SCOTUS refused to hear Indianapolis' appeal of the 7th Circuit's ruling, letting that ruling stand) and in the aftermath of the Columbine massacre, fake "violent" entertainment was in Al Gore's crosshairs when he ran for President even though he and running mate Joe Lieberman were accepting campaign contributions from the same Hollywood studio executives and actors whose movies, music, and video games that the two were threatening to censor. Or was it Tipper Gore, still stuck in her PMRC days, who was actually running for President and they just put Al's name on the ballot because they knew that she would have lost worse than when Ronald Reagan won re-election in 1984 in a rout over Walter Mondale? That's what it looks like to me now, at least.
I honestly think that Gore's push for censorship of the entertainment industry regardless of what people thought[there was an MTV Choose or Lose town hall meeting with Gore where a member of the audience who criticized his stance on the entertainment industry gave Gore a CD of a rap artist I don't remember the name of(could have been Nas or Jay-Z, or somebody else associated with Sean P. Diddy Combs, I just don't remember the name of the rapper); MTV updated it saying Gore claimed he listened to the CD, but it didn't change his mind] partly cost him the Presidential election in 2000 as Gore chose to alienate MTV's target audience, a group of voters that, through the Choose or Lose youth voter campaign, helped Bill Clinton get elected. However, in the aftermath of the scandal of Clinton's affair with Monica Lewinsky, Gore apparently decided to act like he didn't know Bill Clinton and distanced himself from him, running the election as if he was the Republican and George W. Bush was the Democrat as Jesse Ventura put it as his book "Do I Stand Alone? Going to the Mat against Political Pawns & Media Jackals".
Now looking at today in the post-Brown v. EMA world, fake "violent" media is probably much, much lower on the issue scale than it was in 2000, and rightfully so with much, much bigger issues facing America right now. Hell, it wasn't an issue in 2012, a year after the Brown v. EMA decision, though the election happened a month before the Sandy Hook shooting(although afterward it briefly became an issue in part because of the National Rifle Association's false blame, but because of the SCOTUS decision, any attempt at legislation fell by the wayside). Or much of one in 2008(the only Presidential candidate that mentioned fake "violent" media was Mitt Romney, who lost the Republican nomination to John McCain) or in 2004 despite the infamous Janet Jackson wardrobe malfunction(it's amazing that Justin Timberlake got off scot-free from that and became a bigger superstar than he already was while it virutally ended Janet's career).
Is it because there just isn't as many critics of fake "violent" media as there once were? Or is it that those same critics are no longer getting the publicity they once were? Because those critics no longer have crediblity?
Has the tabloid trash news media finally recognized that the legislative threat against fake "violence" in entertainment has virtually disappeared because of the SCOTUS decision in Brown v. EMA? Is it possible that the tabloid trash news media isn't making as much money off of blaming fake "violence" for real world violence that they once did?
Have the politicians finally realized that going after fake "violent" entertainment is and was nothing more than a fool's errand and a waste of taxpayer money better served elsewhere? Hopefully. We shall see.
*-I've been calling Bobby Jindal Bobby Bitchcakes since he began whining after the so-called "religious liberty" bill he championed was soundly defeated in the Louisiana State Legislature last year and after the US Supreme Court ruled that same-sex marriage was protected by the US Constitution.
Hypocrisy of Donald Trump & his supporters
As I have often pointed out in the past, I point out the hypocrisy of people attacking Hollywood and the video game industry for the fake "violence" in their entertainment offerings.
Lately, it seems like idiots have taken to using a tweet Donald Trump made over 3 years ago in the aftermath of the Sandy Hook shooting calling fake "violent" video games "evil" and buying into that bullshit. Never mind that the tweet was probably made after he read a story in the New York Daily News, a tabloid trash newspaper, written by Mike Lupica, a co-host of a tabloid trash sports news show called "The Sports Reporters" on ESPN, a tabloid trash sports channel.
Lupica also happens to write fictional novels involving sports, so it would appear to a rational thinking person that, like what Roger Ebert mentioned in his review of the movie Elephant about an interview he claims he did with the NBC Nightly News the day after Columbine that never aired because he refused to go along with NBC's goal of blaming fake "violent" movies for the school shooting, Lupica was given a theory by the New York Daily News that had been used time and again by the tabloid trash mainstream news media on both sides of the political spectrum since before Columbine, and was looking for a soundbite to support that bullshit theory and he allegedly got it from a "plumber" he "interviewed".
And that's not even mentioning how that story was proven false by the law enforcement agencies that investigated both the shooting and the shooter and found that the shooter never actually played fake "violent" video games and that the only game he was "obsessed" with was the non-violent arcade game Dance Dance Revolution.
-Note: I do not mention mass shooters' names because it makes them more famous than they already are or even should be.-
Point being, using a story from the tabloid trash news media known for making false accusations against the video game industry and Hollywood does not "prove" that fake "violent" video games "cause" real world violence. All of those stories have been discredited. All those stories do is make excuses for someone's actions. Again, the only person responsible for your actions is you. No one or nothing else is. Christ himself even says that.
Besides that, it is both silly and hypocritical of Donald Trump to call fake "violent" video games "evil"(even if it was 3 years ago) when he worked with someone that has been called "evil" numerous times in the past, Vince McMahon. Especially after McMahon made fun of Trump's feud with Rosie O'Donnell, including a match on Monday Night Raw with wrestlers hired for that night to wrestle dressed as Trump and Rosie.
Not only that, Trump is enshrined in the WWE Hall of Fame with a convicted rapist(Mike Tyson), an alleged murderer(Jimmy Snuka), an actor who, like Trump, is accused of being a RINO(Republican in Name Only) at times, as well as being a hypocrite when it comes to fake "violent" video games himself(Arnold Schwarzenegger), drug and alcohol abusers(Jake Roberts, Scott Hall), a man who served time for armed robbery(Booker T), a porn star(Tammy "Sunny" Sytch) and even a man that committed domestic violence(Stone Cold Steve Austin)
Also, it's funny how Trump complains about Pope Francis accusing him of not being Christian for wanting to build a wall on our border with Mexico(and somehow make Mexico pay for the construction of this wall) when Trump worked an angle with Vince at WrestleMania 23 in 2007, a year after McMahon did an angle with the "Heartbreak Kid" Shawn Michaels that mocked Michaels' religious beliefs(Shawn had become a born-again Christian around the time he came back to WWE in 2002 after being on the shelf for 4 years due to a severe back injury), complete with Vince starting his own religion called McMahonism and teaming with his son Shane in a tag team match(read: 2-on-1 handicap match) against HBK and God. Yeah, this actually happened.
General Hospital possibly pushes negative stereotype and falsehood about fake "violent" video games
Recently, the ABC daytime soap opera General Hospital did a storyline where a child character, Jake Webber, who was brought back from the dead last summer(despite the niggling little detail that one of his organs was donated to another child after his "death") caused Sam McCall(played by former Playboy Playmate Kelly Monaco) to be injured in a fall for some reason and the child made a reference to video games that caused some fans of the show to run their mouths on social media.
Even if it were meant to be a throwaway line and nothing else came from it, the writers of General Hospital pushed not just a negative stereotype, but the blatant falsehood that fake "violent" video games "causes" real-world violence.
Never mind that for the last 15 to 20 years, General Hospital's focus has been more about the world of organized crime than the goings-on of the hospital and its doctors. And that their most popular male characters right now happen to be a mob boss(Sonny Corinthos), his former right hand man and hitman who also came back from the dead and just overcame amnesia(Jason Morgan), another mob boss who may or may not have gone legit(Julian Jerome). Also want to point out that the show's most popular, or at least the most well-known character of all time is Luke Spencer, a rapist whose rape of his future wife Laura in the late-70s was once termed as a "seduction" until his teenage son Lucky found out about it when he was helping Elizabeth Webber(Jake's mother) deal with her rape.
It would be hypocritical of fans of the show, let alone the actors and actresses, to complain about fake "violent" video games when they also watch and support a fake "violent" TV show.
Now, General Hospital wasn't the first TV show, primetime[CSI: Miami, Law & Order: SVU, & the short-lived(read: only ran 13 episodes or less and was never heard from again) Fox crime drama Killer Instinct went in the negative route, while CSI: New York was more positive, and NUMB3RS treated fake "violent" video games as a red herring] or daytime, for that matter(the CBS daytime soap The Bold & The Beautiful did a storyline in the mid-90s where Rick Forrester shot his father Eric and it was claimed that he was "influenced" by fake "violent" video games), to use video games as a potential story. Probably won't be the last.
But, again, if you're going to do a story about that, don't just promote negative stereotypes, show the facts. FBI statistics show violent crime in the US has fallen by half since 1991 as fake "violent" video games have become more popular. The research into whether fake "violence" in entertainment makes people more "aggressive" is inconclusive at best because that research is flawed and biased.
Thoughts on the death of Justice Scalia and the continued political divide engulfing America
Once again, the political divide that has infected America like cancer has reared its ugly head after the sudden unexpected death of conservative US Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia in his sleep during a hunting trip in Texas on Feb. 13th.
Scalia hadn't even been buried at that point and there was already debate on whether President Obama should go ahead and appoint a replacement in the final year of his second and final term as President(which, if that pick was confirmed by the US Senate, would be his 3rd appointee on SCOTUS, the most by any US President since Ronald Reagan, who I think had 4 nominees on SCOTUS at one point) or let the next President appoint that successor, with mainly Republicans and conservatives in the latter, including all the Republicans running for President: Donald Trump, Ted Cruz, Marco Rubio, John Kasich, Ben Carson, and Jeb Bush. And they are already using Scalia's death as a campaign issue.
Because the Republican party holds majority in both houses of the US Congress, some Republicans in the US Senate have already said that they would block any nominee Obama appoints, sight unseen. Even if it means that the GOP loses the Presidential election? What would those Republicans do then if Hillary Clinton or Bernie Sanders becomes President January 20th, 2017? Keep SCOTUS at eight justices or less until 2021?
Why does it seem like to me that the Republicans and the conservatives wouldn't be complaining this much if it had been a liberal Superme Court Justice like Ruth Bader Ginsberg or Stephen Breyer that died instead of Scalia?
Because it wouldn't have affected the balance on the court between the conservative and liberal ends of the political spectrum, unlike Scalia's death. As it stands now, there's 4 liberals(Ginsberg, Breyer, Sotomayor, Kagan), 3 conservatives(Thomas, Chief Justice Roberts, Alito), and 1 moderate(Kennedy), so it's very likely that SCOTUS would shift from right-center to left-center or even hard left with a 3rd Obama appointee.
Now, if it were the opposite where there were a Republican US President and a liberal Justice died, the Democrats would be complaining just as much as the Republicans are now.
But all this shows is that the political divide between both sides and the hatred of each other continues unabated.
We are all Americans. America should be first and everything else, whether it's your political affilation, your religious beliefs, your favorite hobby, your favorite sports team, your favorite pro wrestler, or whatever, is secondary.
As far as Justice Scalia's legacy goes, while people have been pushing his opinion in Heller v. DC in 2008 which said that the Second Amendment applied to individual ownership of firearms as his best decision, I'd argue that his opinion in Brown v. EMA in 2011 is just as important, if not more so.