Archive for opinion

Dear Amy -- Thank You For The Smartest Answer To The Stupidest Question


best advice

I'm not much on advice columns but from time to time I catch a memorable response to a totally ridiculous question. Then I know why people make them part of their daily reading.

Here's the perfect example of what I'm talking about -- both in query and in reply. Kudo's to Amy Dickinson of the Chicago Tribune for nailing it from the start.


Video- Fox Goes To Bat For 60 Minutes Benghazi "Witness" Who Admitted He Lied


See!! Fox can have it's own opinion and facts. More here at MM.


A New Sexual Level In Journalism


The Daily Texan

There are various institutions that are well known for their journalism programs. Among the most prestigious top five are Columbia University School of Journalism, Henry W. Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication at the University of Georgia (home of the Peabody Award), NYU's Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism and Harvard University. A fifth member of this quintet of top schools is the the only one outside of the Eastern seaboard. It's the University of Texas, Austin, home of the Longhorns.

U of T puts out a daily newspaper called the Daily Texan (the largest student newspaper in the country) and it's got a lot more to it than cattle prices and home remedies for for saddle sores. Those kind of breaking stories aren't going to get you too much notice in Austin. For that you should go to Texas A & M -- become a Texas Aggie.

U of T, where you're as likely to give the Hook 'em horns hand gesture as you are a fist bump, publishes an award-winning newspaper. This rag has got a venerable history—

According to the paper's site:

The Texan has won more national, regional and state awards than any other college newspaper in America and counts 10 Pulitzer Prize winners among its former staff. Also among it's alums are Walter Cronkite, Lady Bird Johnson,  Bill Moyers, and Liz Smith.

Pretty heady group, wouldn't you say? Well, tradition is on hold this year. The editors decided to veer into brave new territory: sex columns.

Sex Love Texas

Move over Moyers, Smith and Cronkite. Make room for: Fabulous Frank, Sexy Sally, Virgin Veronica, and Committed Caroline.

Yup, that's right. The Red state which on one hand boasts their sexy Dallas Cheerleaders and on the other gives you misogynist Governor Rick Perry and his anti-women's rights laws has chosen to break new ground in the Daily Texan. Maybe they're ready to shed their conservative nature for a more balanced and enlightened look at the world. Maybe they're ready to take their heads out of their oil-well submerged thinking and join us in the 21st century. And like most things in Texas, when they do something, they do it BIGGER.


Safe sex should be something people should want to talk about openly and honestly,” says Kelsey McKinney, the associate managing editor of the Daily Texan. “It’s something that can be important—but also can be a little bit more fun than our breaking news.”

This semester, the paper welcomed four anonymous columnists to its Life & Arts section: Fabulous Frank, Sexy Sally, Virgin Veronica, and Committed Caroline (no relation to this author). They each have a gimmick:

Frank promises “a single gay man’s perspective on the issues that face us all”;

Sally is a “lady on the streets but a freak in the sheets”;

Veronica describes her adventures on how she wants a “UPS Rush Delivery on Sex”;

and Caroline is the one to champion for a steady partner and assure her readers that things don’t have to get boring just because you're in a committed relationship.

Man, reading my college newspaper at Columbia sure wasn't like that. I think we got more reviews of Chuck Berry or Jefferson Starship at the Filmore East and occasionally an anti-Viet Nam commentary. Then we might read about a professor who was nominated for a Nobel Prize. We rarely got a glimpse into human sexuality. And certainly not like this.

But the U of  T columnists take their "spreads" very seriously.

It certainly makes some people uncomfortable and those people have given us a little bit of backlash, but really we enjoy what we are doing and we know we’re not doing it just for fun—we’re doing it for a purpose,” says Sexy Sally. “We try not to pay attention to the haters. For the most part, people who grew up in Texas—we didn’t have a very good sex education and it’s not typically something parents are super open with their kids and I think that’s why it’s made some people feel kind of uncomfortable.”

And they do their research as all good journalists are taught to do. Take for instance Committed Caroline:

“I didn’t know my own body at all, so how could I be ready to share it,” wrote Committed Caroline in her column on masturbation. “So I learned. Girls in Texas aren’t taught how to pleasure themselves any better than they’re taught where to get birth control, so I learned with my hands under the covers by myself where to touch myself and how.”

Now before you accuse me of putting that quote in just for shock value, you're right. But shock for a different reason than you might think. I'm stunned that in any state in the US there isn't enough "sex education" or the program is so limited and clinical that kids are reaching college age and don't know their own bodies. What can the possible outcomes be? Not good ones.

The lack of proper sex education, whether at home or in the school, preferably both to maybe counter-act the lack of parents accurate information, is a must. Without it we're heading for more sexual assaults, unplanned pregnancies and yes, even communicable diseases.

What the Daily Texan is doing should be commended. When you draw attention and shed light where it usually don't shine, you're performing a service. All of that last statement can be taken as a bad joke or in the spirit in which it's meant. Let's educate. Let's not cut funding for programs or school papers. They're filling in many of the gaps that we, as parents, have overlooked or chosen to ignore.


Poll- Voters trust Clinton over GOP on Benghazi



Living in their own sordid echo chamber.

PPP's newest national poll finds that Republicans aren't getting much traction with their focus on Benghazi over the last week. Voters trust Hillary Clinton over Congressional Republicans on the issue of Benghazi by a 49/39 margin and Clinton's +8 net favorability rating at 52/44 is identical to what it was on our last national poll in late March. Meanwhile Congressional Republicans remain very unpopular with a 36/57 favorability rating.

Voters think Congress should be more focused on other major issues right now rather than Benghazi. By a 56/38 margin they say passing a comprehensive immigration reform bill is more important than continuing to focus on Benghazi, and by a 52/43 spread they think passing a bill requiring background checks for all gun sales should be a higher priority.

While voters overall may think Congress' focus should be elsewhere there's no doubt about how mad Republicans are about Benghazi. 41% say they consider this to be the biggest political scandal in American history to only 43% who disagree with that sentiment. Only 10% of Democrats and 20% of independents share that feeling. Republicans think by a 74/19 margin than Benghazi is a worse political scandal than Watergate, by a 74/12 margin that it's worse than Teapot Dome, and by a 70/20 margin that it's worse than Iran Contra.


Video- Chris Matthews Trashes Dick Cheney's Criticism: "Troll"


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Video- Fox and Friends Whine About Not Getting Meeting At White House Like MSNBC


Ooooh, that's some lemon sucking going on there. It's sad that PBO has to treat Fox that way, ut they damn well deserve it because they just don't even pretend any more.


Why I turned off my Tee Vee Machine while watching CNN today


I had to turn off the Tee Vee Machine today. I never do that. I need the Tee Vee Machine. I need to watch for breaking news to report to you, I need to see as many sides of a story as is humanly possible, I need to glean whatever information I can from what passes for news these days.

But today I reached my limit.

I was watching CNN, because, of course, MSNBC was airing "Lockup". They do that a lot. Apparently, news doesn't break on weekends and holidays.

Anyway, on CNN there was a news dee jay. I hesitate to call him an anchor for obvious reasons. And this news dee jay was discussing a poll with the "CNN political correspondent", or "CNN political analyst", or "CNN Inept Yet Well-Paid On Air Personality", or whichever label they lavish on under qualified hacks.

The two pretend reporters/anchormen/journalists/insert-title-here were Very Earnestly and Seriously discussing a poll about who would be the likely victors in the November election. Dee Jay Guy started opining- yes, the "objective" news "anchor" was opining-- about how the Dems were in deep doodoo, even worse doodoo than they were in yesterday when other dee jays were opining about how the Dems were in deep doodoo.

Analyst Guy jumped in, there were opinions flying everywhere, and both objective news professionals personalities were enthusiastically and blatantly and confidently insisting that the Dems' doodoo was deepening.  I was impressed with how intent they seemed to be to convince voters that neither had read this.

Then they delved (if shallow delving is even possible) into a poll that indicated that voters weren't very fond of the Tea Party. Analyst Guy suddenly became rather hesitant, and  prefaced his delvitude with, "Hey, this is just my opinion, but..." and then proceeded to give his opinion. He was very careful to repeat that it, to be sure, and under no uncertain terms, was just his opinion, but yeah, maybe, possibly the Tea Baggers were kinda, maybe, possibly losing support, kinda, maybe, possibly because they had been so very high profile during the primaries. He didn't sound very confident any more, not when it came to Tea Bagger doodoo.

Finally, the "Here's What I Think" fest was concluded, but something was missing. There seemed to be a hole the size of Dee Jay Guy's enormous mouth, but what was it?

I thought, and I thought, and I thought again. Then it came to me the way epiphanies come in the form of wild geese formations to Glenn Beck: Not a word was uttered about the part of CNN's own poll that revealed that the midterms will not be about sending President Obama a message.  No commentary that might have gone in Obama's favor. Not a whisper to contradict their usual message that Obama is the recipient and cause of America's anger. Nope, only a lot of blah blah blah that created a lot of doubt about Democrats this election season.

And that is when, and why, I turned my Tee Vee Machine off.

Note to Commenters who ask: No, I can't link to a video that doesn't exist, which is why I didn't link to a clip of the above broadcast. Yes, I can still post about it, because I am reporting about what was said. That's what reporting is, listening to others and writing down what they say.