Monthly Archives: October 2009

Did I mention that GleN Beck sucks?

My father told me that when it comes to GleN Beck, maybe, maybe, I need to simmer down a little while I rant about him. I say SCREW YOU OLD MAN! No wait, that’s not right.

Ok, so I was thoughtful about today’s rant.

On Oct. 30, GleN was talking about how it would be a super bad thing to introduce another stimulus package. He decided to use the wonderful story telling tool of allegory, where he would tell a story about something non-related that has a much, much deeper meaning that can then be used to illustrate his first thought. Genius.

So, since he cannot just make up a story himself (not drunk enough to be that creative), he borrowed the lesson of the cinematic masterpiece, “Mission: Impossible III.”

You see, much like the adrenaline shot that Tom Cruise shot in the heart of Keri Russell in “Mission: Impossible III,” as is another stimulus. Rolling the video, we see said adrenaline shot, then cut to a scene a few minutes later when (SPOILER ALERT) Keri Russell drops dead.

“Those adrenaline shots will (takes deep breath while making sweeping arm movement) shock the system and it will come back in a little while,” GleN tells “America.” “But in the end, it doesn’t work. We all know what happens when the government tries to (punches self in heart) shoot an injection into the heart. It fails.”

 Wow. Great story GleN.

Of course, he never pointed out that the reason Keri Russell’s character died was not because of the adrenaline shot, but rather, because the evil genius Philip Seymour Hoffman planted a chip in her head that blew up.

I don’t mean to be overly knit-picky, but shouldn’t GleN draw proper parallels when using a movie to illustrate his point? Not to mention, medically speaking, a shot of adrenaline does not ultimately result in death. It doesn’t revive a person for a moment, but then kill them. Adrenaline shots, quite the opposite, save lives. In fact, a shot of adrenaline can help normalize blood pressure and make breathing easier in the event of anaphylactic shock. Further, a shot of adrenaline, if it were, say, administered incorrectly or unnecessarily, STILL is not dangerous. According to Dr. Edward J. Read, Jr., MD, assistant clinical professor in the Department of Emergency Medicine at the Virginia Commonwealth University School of Medicine:

“The consequence for the person receiving the unintentional injection is not usually too severe. The bigger risk may well be the ‘lost dose,’ the fact that the epinephrine is no longer available to administer properly to the person urgently needing it.”

It’s actually more dangerous to NOT have your adrenaline than to use it, even improperly!

This is just another in a long line of GleN’s irresponsible on-air dribble. It’s this kind of fear mongering that leaves people not just fearful, but grossly misinformed. I mean, if he must use a movie, why not a horror flick. You know, the screaming Jamie Lee Curtis (the stimulus) has defeated the evil Michael Myers (the sinking economy) but BAM! He’s not on the lawn anymore, he’s ALIVE (the economy is still sinking!). See how I did that off the top of my head? And I don’t even have a team of producers or a nasty cocaine habit to help me think.

GleN. It is completely on target to question government spending. I mean seriously, we’re bleeding money. Why you refuse to do this in either a responsible or a rational or an honest manner is beyond me.

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Modern technology

Now that it’s nearly Halloween and the first snowfall is likely just weeks away, my next door neighbor Amy and I finally realized that we are total idiots driving our children to school separately every day. After all, they are going to the same damn place.

So, we’re kind of on a wacky, whoever pulls their butt out of bed and out the door first schedule for who drives in the morning. We both seem to have a tendency to rush out the door in jammies and unbrushed hair about three minutes before the first bell rings. Thankfully, the school is just a half mile away.

Amy has twins in first grade, Jake and Alyssa. She also has another set of twins, and a 16-year-old son, which tells me that there is a special place in heaven for her. I find Jake and Alyssa to be about the cutest kids ever, and much like my own 7-year-old, they delight me on the way to school with their astute observations and witty quips that they don’t even realize are so astute and witty.

So as we were pulling around the corner, I hear Jake yell out from the back seat, “COOL!”

“What?” I ask.

“This! Cool!” he repeats.

Not having a clue what could possibly be so cool in the back seat of my Honda Civic, except maybe a few months worth of french fries that surprisingly will not make a child sick when they pop them into their mouth,  I turn my head to check it out.

“What’s so cool?” I ask.

“This!” Jake responds, pointing at the door. Recognizing the puzzled look on my face, young Jake grasps the manual window crank and does a loop. The window goes down a crack.

“OH COOL!!!” Alyssa joins in.

“Yeah, uh, cool,” Hank adds, even though he has no idea what they are talking about because the last time I had a car without manual windows was four years before he was born.

“You can put it down by yourself!” Jake oozes. “Cooooooll!!”

Amused, I play along. “Watch this,” I say, and the whiz my own manual window down as quickly as possible, then roll it back up just as fast. “And, you have to LOCK your own doors! No automatic locks!” I announce. This of course results in both Jake and Alyssa lunging for the door lock to push it down then *gasp* PULL IT BACK UP.

“COOL!” they yell in unison.

I’m tempted to tell them that back in my day, you had to get up and walk all the way over to the television set in order to change the channel on the TV, and do that by rotating a dial! But I decide against it. This is enough stimulation for their brains this early.

Ah, technology.

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The sky is falling…

I certainly am not the only person irritated with the media these days. I think it is only fair to note that I am clearly driven stark raving mad by pretty much every talking head on FOX who opens up his or her mouth, and I am otherwise ok with MSNBC. But across the board, it seems pretty obvious that everyone has lost perspective.

The impossibly squinty-eyed Sean Hannity begins his radio show every day with the following voiceover:

AMERICA UNDER SEIGE!

CONSERVATISM IN EXILE!

On FOX this afternoon, a promo for an upcoming show with Bret Baier, who has the absolute hardest helmet head hair this side of Dan Rather circa 1970: “We will explain the latest White House ATTACK on FOX news,” Baier announced.

And of course, my favorite ex-junkie, GleN Beck:

Regarding healthcare:

“Should we still continue to put up with the same old politicians who care about their seats and their power and their titles that they’ll sell you and your children into slavery in order to do special favors for their cronies.”

Regarding OnStar, after they created a system in which they can turn off a car after being informed by the police that the car has been stolen:

“Fantastic technology, if you trust the people whose hands are controlling that technology. OnStar is a private industry, but their client is General Motors… Not technology to be feared, not a company at this point to be feared. But we don’t seem to be going in the right direction with our government. Our government is starting to consume and control everything. Do you really want the United States government to be able to… know where you are in your car all the time, also be able to have a microphone in your car? Do you believe this government has your children’s best interest at heart?… Do you think that history will repeat itself and we will go the way of the former Soviet Union?… We’re going to have to declare martial law, but it’s for the good of the country, because the country is falling apart, do you think that’s a possibility?… Why do we trust them with listening and tracking devices and a device that will turn your car off?

Regarding Obama:

“President Obama wants to banish everybody’s opinion into the wilderness.”

 These are just quotes from TODAY. I didn’t have to search around and do research or anything. I just had to listen and watch.

 Under seige. Exile. Attack. Sell your children into slavery. Consume and control everything. Martial law. Tracking devices in your car. Banishing your opinion into the wilderness.

Look, I am a writer. I know that if your words are boring, people won’t bother to listen. Peppering your language, coloring your words, telling a story as vividly as possible, using strong and direct language, painting a picture… these are all goals of the writer, and the best way to get people to tune in and hear you. And I won’t pretend that my buddies at MSNBC don’t engage in this. Olbermann is so theatrical, all he’s missing is a white half-mask and a woman to covet. Ed Schultz practically spits all over the camera lens, he gets so worked up. But we’re talking about FOX here, and their incendiary language that rains all over every broadcast that their commentators host.

Think about people who actually are “under seige.” I think about it in local terms, the children at Fenger High School in Chicago. Children who have lost their neighborhoods to gangs, children who cannot play in their own yards without the risk of being shot, children who get beaten to death in the street just walking home. Their neighborhoods are under seige.

Think about exile. Actually being rejected from your own country. Actually having your voice silenced. Does anyone else sense the irony (or dare I say, idiocy) of exercising your very profitable freedom of speech to announce that you are in “exile?”

Attack. War. I cannot believe that FOX, self-proclaimed patriots who claim to have cornered the market on the right way to look out for our soldiers fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan, would have such an extreme lack of decency as to draw a parallel between actual war and the fact that the President of the United States has decided not to talk to FOX news. Thousands of US Soldiers and Iraqi citizens — dead. THAT is a war. There is no war being waged here. Just the president not wanting to talk to a single network. The use of the term “war” is offensive and vile.

I think you get my picture here. FOX uses the most charged up language they can to describe situations that do not merit it. It is a legitimate question to ask how the government plans to pay for health care. But it then smacks down that legitimacy when you suggest that the government will only pay for health care by selling your children into slavery. They’re following you. They’re tracking your movements. Martial law is coming as the President banishes your opinions to the wilderness. It is, plain and simple, fear mongering. And FOX is up to their elbows in it.

I wish that the next time GleN Beck mentioned the ATTACKS that the White House has launched on FOX, that someone could point out a real attack to him. This week, the body of 7-year-old Somer Thompson was found in Georgia. She was abducted, killed and tossed into a garbage truck, where her body was transported across state lines and dropped into a landfill like everyday trash. Somer was attacked. FOX isn’t even being picked on.

While I am done with that part of the post, I feel like I cannot talk about GleN Beck without mentioning how incredibly irresponsible he is with his bizarre amount of power over those who need him to tell them what to think. On Oct. 22, Beck threw his support behind a candidate for a special election taking place in New York. Beck endorsed David Hoffman, running to fill a House seat in New York District 23 vacated when Republican Representative John McHugh was named Secretary of the Army by President Obama. Beck compared candidates Hoffman, Dede Scozzafava and Bill Owens by comparing three types of modern skyscrapers. The exercise was futile at best, moronic and infantile at worst, and amounted to Beck pointing at a photo of Hoffman and declaring that he was the best candidate. Why? Because, according to Beck, the best candidate for this particular office was the man who was not “sleek and manufactured.”

“That’s the perfect candidate to me,” Beck announced, still pointing at Hoffman. He then added quickly, “I don’t really know anything about this guy, so this is just an example.”

I don’t live in New York. I have no idea who the best candidate is. But I certainly know better than to point at one of them on national television and announce he is the best candidate, and follow it up by admitting I know nothing about him. This is representative of GleN Beck — a man who admittedly does not know what he’s talking about, but it sure isn’t going to stop him from saying it anyway.

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Mars vs. Venus

Yesterday I was watching a little of my favorite 24-hour pretty much lefty but hey, at least they don’t claim to be “fair and balanced” news outlet, MSNBC. I like this station. I like their commentators. I like that they lean my way. I loves me some Contessa Brewer. And frankly, Mika Brzezinski is starting to catch my eye these days too. She’s got really great hair.

Anyway, it was 11-ish, so it was time for Dr. Nancy.

For this part, I am going off on a tangent… stay with me.

Dr. Nancy’s name is Dr. Nancy Snyderman. She is a board certified surgeon who specializes in otolaryngology, which is a word I cannot even pronounce, but means she’s an ear, nose and throat doc. She went to medical school at the University of Nebraska, and is currently on staff at the University of Pennsylvania. Plus, she is a on-air broadcaster, which frankly, is way harder than it looks. She is, by all means, accomplished. Yet she goes by the name “Dr. Nancy.”

Why the hell do broadcast doctors, be they MDs or PhDs, do this? Dr. Oz. Dr. Phil. Dr. Laura. Do these people have some aversion to their last name? I mean, it works for Dr. Ruth — but she is an adorable tiny little four-foot-seven German native who lost her parents to the concentration camps, yet is about the happiest-go-lucky person ever who talks about sex. She broke the mold people.

The use of Dr. Firstname reminds me of Sleepless in Seattle, when young Jonah wants his father, Sam, to talk to Dr. Marcia on a radio show. “Talk to her, dad. She’s a doctor,” Jonah says. “Of what? Her first name could be Doctor,” replies Sam. That sums up how I feel about it.

We have only one Doctor in our family, my cousin Jennifer has a PhD. And I am pretty sure that if I call her Dr. Jenny, she would probably take her baby out of his stroller so she could beat me with said stroller. Last names, people. Last names.

So anyway. I was watching Dr. Snyderman, and she was discussing whether men should have a place in the delivery room. To my knowledge, my father witnessed zero of his 5 children’s births. I did not deliver my children naturally, I had to have c-sections. Amy was there the first time, Jim nearly passed out the second time because he saw a little blood hit the floor. He never actually SAW anything gross. But I was so doped up both times that I can’t even remember someone else being in the room. My friend Nancy (not to be confused with the good TV doctor) told me just about the worst horror story ever involving the birth of her daughter and her husband holding one of her legs. Kayla said her husband watched the whole thing. I remember my sister Carrie talking about wanting to punch her husband in the face because he made the mistake of eating some sort of stinky snack before getting a little to close to her to tell her to “PUSH!”

So, is there a place in the delivery room for men? Dr. Snyderman made a legitimate comment about the men who get woozy at the sight of the birth, like my husband did (good thing he wasn’t really watching and he was sitting down — he would have dropped like a sack of potatoes had it been a regular birth). She said when the doctors need to check on the passed out man on the floor, it doesn’t go over too well with Mom.

“Men never faint after they’ve had sex,” Dr. Snyderman said. “They just faint for the delivery.”

Good. Point. Doc.

So what’s the answer? Do men help or hinder the birth process? Do we, as women, really need them there? I suppose the answer is that it is different for each couple, but really, the will of the woman should definitely win out on this one. I don’t know that doctors attending to a swooning Dad has ever actually put Mom or Baby’s life in danger. But still, why risk it? I do know that if it were me, and I was having the child the regular way rather than have it taken out against its will like I did, I want Dad to be as far away as possible, possibly on the other side of a sound proof wall.

What say the women and men of the blog world?

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Where is Mitrice?

You know about Jon and Kate right? He took the money, the show is going to be named with just her — oh wait, maybe not.

You know about the balloon boy, right? It was a hoax, it wasn’t a hoax, it was a hoax. His family was on Wife Swap and three times this year a 9-1-1 call has been made from their home. And he vomited on television today — twice.

You know Rush Limbaugh, right? Can you even BELIEVE the injustice that he cannot buy into an NFL team?

You know all these things. I know all these things. An absurd amount of media attention has been thrown at these things. Websites, television shows, Extra, Entertainment Tonight, ABC, CBS, NBC, FOX, CNN. Blogs. Message boards. Magazines. Newspapers. We know these things inside and out. But you know what I don’t really know a thing about? Mitrice Richardson.

Mitrice Richardson is a 24-year-old woman from California. She’s black. She’s stunning. She’s reportedly very smart and also mentally disturbed on some level, though I am not sure what that level is, ie, depression, bi-polar disorder, etc. And she’s been missing for a full month.

I know of this story not because of the media attention that it was given. Because unless I lived in Los Angeles County, which I don’t, the story is almost completely unknown. No. The reason I know of this story is thanks to fellow blogger Joni Hudson-Reynolds. A blogger told me about Mitrice. Not Katie Couric or Rachel Maddow or GleN Beck. I found out on a blog.

Here is Mitrice:

front-page-images2 

These two photos are taken from a website put up to help aid the search for Mitrice, and yes, that first shot is a mug shot. Here’s why Mitrice had to pose for a mug shot:

On Sept. 16, Mitrice Richardson was arrested in Malibu for not paying an $89 tab at a restaurant. While she was detained, the police searched her car and allegedly found some pot. So they impounded her car and took her to the police station. Then, around 1 a.m. on Sept. 17, Mitrice, clad in a t-shirt and jeans and with no phone, no id, no car and no money, was released. She walked out of the Lost Hills Sheriff’s Station at 1:25 a.m. into the chilly night air, five hours before the next available bus service came online in the area. Mitrice was never seen again.

Anne Sobel of Malibu Surfside News wrote this week:

At Saturday’s rally, Richardson’s father Michael also expressed the view that his daughter is alive, but may be unwilling to make her whereabouts known.

Speaking directly to his daughter, he said, “You may be scared, but you did nothing wrong. When you come back, we can fix this situation.”

Addressing people the missing woman “may be confiding in,” the father told them, “You’re doing more harm than good.” He said he knows people want  to help her and described his daughter’s charismatic personality with “Mitrice could make the devil turn the heat down in  hell.”

But there is still concern that the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department, which took her into custody and is still taking part of the search under the lead of the LAPD because Richardson is a Los Angeles resident, did not move quickly enough when she was reported missing.

Her father said the first week “was detectives in nice suits and reptile shoes talking to a few people.” He said it was 10 days before a major search involving 200 personnel and volunteers combed the rugged terrain of Calabasas and Malibu near Lost Hills.

Michael Richardson said the LASD exhibited “carelessness and irresponsibility” and deputies displayed “cockiness and arrogance.” He called for an outside investigation of the agency, saying the current in-house review that has been requested by the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors doesn’t go far enough.

Although the family publicly downplays the issue of whether race might have been a factor in the handling of the case, some of Mitrice Richardson friends privately say they think otherwise.

Mitrice’s family and friends and the police investigating the incident are all at a loss. No one knows that the hell happened, or really, where to even start. And it’s been a month.

I refer back to the title of this post. “Where is Mitrice?” I chose this title because it has a dual meaning. Where is she literally, physically? And where is she on my TV? In my newspaper? On the news websites I regularly read? Why do I only know about this woman thanks to a fellow blogger whose site I enjoy, and happened to be looking at today? Why?

Natalee Holloway has been missing from Aruba since 2005. After her disappearance, her Mom was a regular on FOX news, members of which travelled extensively to Aruba to give up-to-the minute reports on the search. Same goes for reporters from the other networks. Natalee’s disappearance prompted the governor of Natalee’s home state of Alabama to call for a boycott of Aruba. The search party for Natalee included members of the FBI and three aircrafts from the Dutch Air Force. Natalee’s mother, Beth Twitty, penned a book about the search for her daughter — as did her father Dave Holloway. Beth Twitty even got Dr. Phil to investigate the disappearance. This year, a made-for-TV movie about Natalee was released. I know Natalee’s story so well, I even knew the unusual spelling of her name without looking it up.

But I’ve personally never seen Mitrice’s story on television or in the newspapers I read. Apparently no one has the budget to travel to California. Or to at least pick up the coverage from Los Angeles media outlets. No one is offering Mitrice’s parents a book deal. Dr. Phil apparently is not knocking on the Richardson’s door, offering his services. No Air Force aircraft are assisting in the search.

Did race play a role? Hell, I don’t know. I do know that Natalee looks like this:

NataleeHolloway01_300

And Mitrice looks like this:

Mitrice-content-images

Two women, both young, beautiful and missing.

I’m not suggesting that Natalee does not deserve the coverage. Just wondering why Mitrice is receiving only a fraction of a fraction of the coverage Natalee was granted. They are both tragic cases. They both have families who deserve answers. They both deserve a place on the front page.

But instead, the front page is filled with Jon and Kate and the boy in the balloon who wasn’t in the balloon and poor multi-millionaire Rush and his lost NFL bid. As a journalist, I’m a little down about where our priorities are these days. It would appear that missing black women just don’t sell.

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Dear GleN Beck: Grow a Pair

GleN Beck is a moron.

I try and watch him regularly, not to make myself crazy, but so that when I make my assessment of him, it’s real. It’s based on actual knowledge, not blog quips and short sound bites. And based on all I’ve gathered, plus the fact that I am fabulously smart, I can honestly say — the man is a moron.

Today he spent 45 minutes talking about… something. Communism? Big bad Obama. Something. Most of the time he kept waving around a fairly new copy of Hitler’s “Mein Kemph” and talking about how bad it was. I kept thinking, “dude, why did you BUY a copy of that? You spent MONEY on Hitler’s book.” Moron.

But then came the goods. GleN Beck showed some old commercials that remind him of the “simpler” times of America. You know, Mean Joe Green takes a kid’s Coke, and it’s so delicious, he is suddenly NOT Mean Joe Green. He’s NICE Joe Green. So nice he throws his sweaty, blood-stained jersey right in the kid’s face. Then he shows an old Kodak commercial, as families gather on 8 mm film to Paul Anka singing about having the time of your life (not to be confused with when Patrick Swayze and Jennifer Grey had the time of THEIR lives, because no one puts Baby in the corner).

Then GleN begins:

“America has never been a perfect place, but we used to be united.”

I nearly spit out my Diet Pepsi as Mr. Beck, the man who confronts the White House daily, speaks about the lack of unity in the country. But it got better:

“If you could go back to those simpler times when people were together, you’d do it in a heartbeat, wouldn’t you? I’d be tempted to belive them. But he truth is…”

Wait…. why is GleN stopping? What is he… OH MY GOD HE’S CRYING!

“No politician can take you there, they can only take you farther from there. Only common sense and hard work and only the honest truth or better yet the hard reality. You know…”

Big pause as the waterworks flow.

“America, we’ve been at a party that we weren’t supposed to be at. The two kids that were driving us there, they said don’t worry, nothing’s going to happen, you’re not going to get caught. And you had a moment there where you wanted to obey your parents and you were like, ok. Because everybody’s doing it. Then you were there, they promised you that you were going to leave by midnight, they promised you that. And now it’s almost two o’clock and you find yourself at a party where you haven’t really done anything but you smell like pot, your friends spilled beer all over you, you’re out way past curfew, and you don’t know what to do anymore, you’re going to get your butt kicked. We’re facing the same choice now. Remember when our parents said to us, just come home and tell us the truth. We’ll get through this. Look, don’t get me wrong, it’s not going to hurt Dad more than it hurt you, at least in the short run. It is going to stink when we all have to stay home on a Saturday night because we’re financially grounded. But in the long run, you will look at your children…”

Big, quivering lip, crocodile tears.

“…and you will tell them, that you hated it, you hated the things that you did at the time because they were hard, but your Dad was right, and you’re glad you did it. And your children will have respect for what you did. You have to start making the hard choices now.”

Ok. Wuss boy totally lost me. Let’s see. The Obama administration = bad kids with pot and beer. GleN Beck = kid who swears he didn’t have any pot and beer but got busted, it’s not mine I swear, it’s Obama’s. And the lesson here is apparently, if you tell your kids that you did NOT take Obama’s pot and beer, then we shall surely return to a time when Mean Joe Green is made nice via Coca-Cola and 8 mm films come back into style.

Additionally, GleN Beck basically said that you absolutely cannot trust elected officials, since they can only take you farther from the good times. And apparently, it’s all cause to weep. So to recap.

  • Politicians = trying to rob you of your happiness
  • Happiness = Mean Joe Green taking your kid’s Coke
  • Obama = Pot smoking, beer drinking teenager
  • GleN Beck = Kid who smells like beer and pot but it’s Obama’s I swear!
  • Getting busted by parents for partying with Obama = only way to make your children love you
  • Crying = What you do when you are having a break with reality on national television

Dude. I have NO IDEA what that moron was just talking about. Or why it turned him  into a blubbering little girl. Or why he even has a show. But serioulsy, GleN, look into balls. I invite you to grow a pair.

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Parenting 101 – How to confuse your children

Earlier this afternoon, I was standing at the kitchen sink, arms emersed up to the elbows in soapy water as I scrubbed four-day old food off of various plates and silverware.

Skipping along and obvioulsy wanting something, Hank snuck up beside me.

“Hey Mom, whatcha doin’?” he says, casually.

I look him over for a minute, then look back at my sleeves, which have slid down my forearms and have become soaked in the dish water.

“Oh, I’m just dancing,” I reply.

“Oh… I, um. Well…..” he mutters.  He then lets out a short sigh, turns slowly and walks away.

Parenting is fun.

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