Wednesday, September 27, 2023

The disgusting and revolting Dax Shepard

No music tonight.  I'm pissed.  Dax Shapard is a little nothing married to someone only slightly more than nothing.  I've thought that since before I was ever online.  But you've never heard me say it because there are other things to do.  I don't make a point to note people I loathe just to tell you that I loathe them.  Now if I loathe them and they make the news?  I'm going to tell you that I loathe them.  In today's snapshot (in full after my post here), C.I. noted Jonathan Van Ness had been on a podcast hosted by hideous Dax and was left in tears over trying to defend basic rights.  Shreeja Daws (MEEAW) notes that it was Dax being rude:

People also left comments under Dax Shepard's Instagram post about the post, with a person writing, "I understand the need to have discussions about sensitive issues. I don't understand having to find a middle ground when one side's ask is just to exist. I hope this episode leads to some reflection."

"JVN was impassioned and brilliant in this episode and brought me to tears with the pure exhaustion of fighting for trans rights especially for the kids who just want to live their lives and participate in activities with their friends," expressed another.

What a low life Dax is.  He's not funny and he coasted to celebrity on others.  He really grabbed ahold of Kristen Bell but she could only carry him so far because she's a so-so actress who had limited appeal -- had because those days are over.  I don't know who Dax thought he was pleasing with his transphobic remarks?  Women?  I wasn't pleased.  Were you?  Big brave Dax sticking up for the ladies.  It's not a zero sum gain.  We can all be happy.  Well, not Riley Gaines.  She can never be happy but it's not my fault that God punished her with that face.

 Elyse Wanchel (HUFFINGTON POST) notes the exchange:

When Van Ness tried to point out misinformation on the left, the two began debating whether or not The New York Times was a liberal newspaper. Van Ness, who is nonbinary, trans and uses they/them pronouns, argued that the outlet was far more right because of its “anti-trans” content. “They’re anti-trans. They platform multiple anti-trans people,” they said.

Van Ness has a valid point. In February, more than 850 New York Times contributors signed an open letter condemning the outlet for how it covered issues relating to transgender, nonbinary and gender-nonconforming people. GLAAD, the LGBTQ+ advocacy group, also released a press release urging others to sign the open letter, which attracted signatures from dozens of organizations and celebrities, including Judd Apatow, Gabrielle Union, Margaret Cho and Van Ness.

Upon Van Ness pointing out the publication’s history, Shepard pushed back with conservative talking points by saying the outlet was merely “challenging” and asking “questions” about issues, such as teens taking puberty blockers.

“Some people are very uncomfortable about teenagers transitioning. They’re challenging that,” Shepard said. “How do we know that person’s not gonna change their mind? … Well, if they kill themselves? And that’s really fucking permanent — that’s a good counterargument.”

Shepard continued: “This whole notion that to be critical… or to even question it makes you an enemy. I don’t think that’s the way forward.”

The hairstylist and founder of JVN Hair, seeming frustrated, replied, “I feel like I’m talking to my dad.”

Dax Shepard is disgusting and revolting.

Closing with C.I.'s "Iraq snapshot:"

Wednesday, September 27, 2023.  Over a hundred dead in Iraq from a fire at a wedding, Joe Biden takes to the picket line, Moms For Bigotry continue their attempt to destroy the country, education and democracy, and much more.

Last week, as Iraq's Prime Minister addressed the United Nations General Assembly and as he he met with various leaders, the press largely ignored him and Iraq.  This morning?  Iraq's all they seem able to talk about.

Kathyn Armstrong (BBC NEWS) notes, "Footage posted online showed the couple on the dance floor before flaming chunks begin falling onto the dance floor.  Firefighters could be seen climbing over the wreckage of the building in search of survivors on Wednesday morning."  Farid Abdul Wahed (AP) addds, "Authorities said that flammable building materials also contributed to the latest disaster to hit Iraq’s dwindling Christian minority. In the fire’s chaotic aftermath, officials offered conflicting death tolls and security officials said they had detained staff at the wedding hall as part of their investigation."  Holly Johnston, Mina Aldroubi and Sinan Mahmoud (THE NATIONAL) put the death toll currently at 115 with another 150 injured and  Omar Abdulkader (CBS NEWS) notes, "Prime Minister Mohammed Shia al-Sudani ordered an investigation into the blaze and asked the country's interior and health ministries to provide assistance, his office said in a statement posted online."


Turning to the United States, let's give Joe Biden some credit.  Joey Garrison and Michael Collins (USA TODAY) report:

President Joe Biden walked the picket line with the United Auto Workers outside Detroit, telling them to "stick with it," in a historic visit Tuesday 12 days into the union's strike against the nation's three largest automakers.

Biden, visiting a General Motor redistribution center, said workers deserve more of a share of the profits from Ford Motor Co., General Motors and Stellantis. It marked the first time a sitting president has joined a picket line of workers on strike in the middle of a labor dispute.

Do you get it?  Nope?  Let's again note Joni Mitchell, a song I like to retitle "The Last Time I Saw Barack."

You like roses and kisses and pretty men to tell you
All those pretty lies, pretty lies
When you gonna realize they're only pretty lies?
Only pretty lies, just pretty lies"
-- "The Last Time I Saw Richard," written by Joni Mitchell, first appears on her album BLUE.

"All those pretty lies, pretty lies, when you gonna realize they're only pretty lies?"

From Senator Barack Obama's November 3, 2007 speech in South Carolina while he was on the campaign trail was full of lies, "just pretty lies."  For example:

One year from now, we can stop sending hundreds of millions of dollars to dictators for their oil while we melt the polar ice caps in the bargain. I will raise our fuel standards, and put a cap on carbon emissions to reduce then 80% by 2050. We'll tell polluters that they have to pay for their pollution, because they don't own the skies, the American people own the skies. And we'll use the money to invest in the clean, renewable fuels that are our future. That's the change we can offer in 2008.

No, he did not put a cap on carbon emissions to reduce them by 80% by 2050.  Didn't happen.  Change you can believe in if you're really foolish.

When I am President, I will end this war in Iraq. I will bring our troops home within sixteen months. I'll finish the fight against al Qaeda in Afghanistan. And I will lead the world against the common threats of the 21st century - nuclear weapons and terrorism; climate change and poverty; genocide and disease. 

He killed more people with drones than anyone before him.  He never withdrew all troops from Iraq -- not in 16 months, not in his first term, not in his second term.  US troops remain on the ground in Iraq.  He didn't finish the fight in Afghanistan and it was Joe Biden, as president who brought US troops hom.

I don't want to see that the oceans rose another few inches and the planet has reached the point of no return because we couldn't find a way to stop ourselves from buying oil from dictators. I don't want to see that.

Well that wasn't a broken promise.  He didn't promise to make sure the oceans didn't rise "another few inches," he just said he didn't want to see it.  By the way, it's risen about three inches since Barack gave that speech. 

"I don't want to see homeless veterans on the street." Again, not a broken promise.  He just didn't want to see it.  It was 2009, after being elected president, that Barack made the promise to end homelessness.  Spoiler alert: Didn't happen.  From the editorial board of THE NEW YORK TIMES, August 5, 2016, "Broken Promises to Homeless Vets:"

Speaking to disabled veterans on Monday in Atlanta, President Obama discussed his administration’s efforts to end “the tragedy, the travesty” of veteran homelessness. He proudly declared the glass half full. “We have now reduced the number of homeless veterans by 47 percent,” he said. The number of homeless veterans is now under 40,000.

What Mr. Obama did not say, in an address that also boasted about the success of the Department of Veterans Affairs in expanding disability benefits, cutting health care backlogs and improving mental health care, was that the upbeat statistic actually reflects shrunken ambition and mission failure. Mr. Obama’s V.A. has been promising to vanquish the problem since 2009, the year Eric Shinseki, then the secretary of veterans affairs, announced a plan to end veteran homelessness by the end of 2014.

Mr. Shinseki resigned in 2014, undone by health care scandals on his watch, but the administration, undaunted, announced another campaign that year, called the Mayors Challenge to End Veteran Homelessness. New name, new strategic emphasis -- enlisting state and local governments and philanthropies -- but the same promise: a home for all down-and-out veterans in all 50 states by 2015.

There is no excuse for that failure.  No one twisted his arm for that promise.  Having made it, he should have ensured the issue was resolved.  Instead, he broke a promise to veterans.  To be clear, I don't think veterans are any better than the rest of the population.  And I do believe we should be addressing homelessness throughout the country -- not just veterans.  But the reason I advocate for them with regards to, for example, healthcare is because the government made a promise and then it refused to live up to it.  It's the same thing with homeless veterans.  They didn't sign up thinking, "I won't be homeless."  If they did, some were mistaken.  But in 2009, Barack promised that veterans homelessness would be ended by 2014.  That was a promise from the sitting president of the United States.  He made it and it's now a debt owed.

The VA claims that, today, there are 67,495 homeless veterans -- that's most likely an undercount.  

There is no excuse for that after Barack's 'promise.'  This could have been dealt with.  68,000 homes being built would have strengthened the economy -- due to the costs for labor and materials.  And who was going to argue against it?  Lauren Boebert or some other idiot.  Most Americans would have said, "Build the damn homes."  Because a promise was made and the government needs to keep it's promises.  

But it was always just pretty words, just pretty words for Barack which is why we called him "Mr Pretty Words" and why we repeatedly cited "The Last Time I Saw Richard" when Barack was in the White Hose.  From the November 3, 2007 speech, let's note one more part:

When I am President, I will end the tax giveaways to companies that ship our jobs overseas, and I will put the money in the pockets of working Americans, and seniors, and homeowners who deserve a break. I won't wait ten years to raise the minimum wage - I'll raise it to keep pace every single year. And if American workers are being denied their right to organize when I'm in the White House, I will put on a comfortable pair of shoes and I will walk on that picket line with you as President of the United States.

So many lies -- minimum wage was raised only once -- July of 2009.  Hasn't been raised since.  "I'll raise it to keep pace every single year."

Just pretty lies, only pretty lies.

And he never put on his shoes and walked a picket line.

Yesterday, Joe Biden walked a picket line and, again, "It marked the first time a sitting president has joined a picket line of workers on strike in the middle of a labor dispute."

One more time from USA TODAY's report:

The visit followed a public invitation from UAW President Shawn Fain to Biden last Friday, as UAW expanded its strike to 38 sites across 20 states. Fain greeted Biden at the Detroit airport and rode with Biden in the president's limousine to greet striking auto workers.

"Our president chose to stand up with workers in our fight for economic and social justice," Fain said, thanking Biden. "It’s a historic day, a historic moment in time.”

Again, credit for that.

For THIRD,  Ava and I wrote "Thoughts on Woke (Ava and C.I.)" and it notes the increase of hate and Nazis in Florida.  William Spivey (LEVEL) points out:

It's no accident that Nazis are growing in numbers in Florida. Many Republicans here talk the same language and hate the same people. DeSantis is at war with the LGBTQ community, Black people, and immigrants, and so are they. The same can be said for the most infamous resident of Mar-a-Lago, who put like-minded people like Steve Bannon and Stephen Miller in the White House.

On Nazis, in 1988, Lindsay Wagner made the TV movie EVIL IN CLEAR RIVER.  I thought she gave a praise-worthy performance.  But the movie?  Well written but I just didn't see it as realistic. Her character's son is spouting some fake 'facts' and she discovers the teacher -- a real 'coach' Tommy Tuberville type -- is lying to the students about the Holocaust.    It's realistic today.   Nazis are all over the place and we all have to be Lindsay fighting them.  For example, Katharine Fung (NEWSWEEK) reported earlier this week:

A Holocaust denier is running for a school board election in Minnesota.

Vaughn Klingenberg, who is a candidate for Roseville Area Schools board, has made several comments discussing his beliefs that the Nazis did not want the Holocaust and that they were actually trying to "save" Jewish people.

In a July appearance on VT Radio's "Uncensored Alternative Foreign Policy Talk" podcast, Klingenberg described the Holocaust being orchestrated by "big Zionist Jews" to persecute "little Jews" and claimed that "the Jewish religion is an ideology based on victimization."

The Holocaust has been recognized as the genocide of European Jews by Nazi Germany and described by the National WWII Museum as the "deliberate, organized, state-sponsored persecution and machinelike murder of approximately six million European Jews and at least five million Soviet prisoners of war, Romany, Jehovah's Witnesses, homosexuals, and other victims."

The hate merchants never give up selling the hate.  It can be very upsetting trying to make it through a day in this country lately.  UNBRANDED ENTERTAINMENT notes:

On a recent episode of Dax Shepard’s 'Armchair Expert' podcast, Jonathan Van Ness burst into tears defending the transgender community. Shepard and the hairstylist were discussing The New York Times and Van Ness called out the publication for sharing anti-trans content. The podcast’s host said, “Some people are very uncomfortable about teenagers transitioning… the person’s not gonna change their mind?” He added, “To even question it makes you an enemy. I don’t think that’s the way forward." Van Ness said that it felt like they were talking to their dad. "I’m not calling you a transphobe. You can not be transphobic and still have thoughts that espouse trans misogyny and espouse transphobic ideologies or beliefs and not be transphobic", responded Van Ness. Van Ness began to cry, as they are “emotionally exhausted” from having to constantly fight for kids who “just wanted to be included”.

It is upsetting.  The hate's made me cry many times out of frustration and out of sadness for what some people -- who have harmed no one -- have to live with and live through.  But we can push back on the hate merchants.  And some people -- basic citizens as well as politicians -- are showing us how.  AP reports:

California Gov. Gavin Newsom signed a bill Monday to ban school boards from rejecting textbooks based on their teachings about the contributions of people from different racial backgrounds, sexual orientations and gender identities.

Newsom called the measure “long overdue.”

“From Temecula to Tallahassee, fringe ideologues across the country are attempting to whitewash history and ban books from schools,” Newsom said in a statement. “With this new law, we’re cementing California’s role as the true freedom state: a place where families — not political fanatics -- have the freedom to decide what’s right for them.”

The bill takes effect immediately.

As part of the effort to spread their hate, Moms For Bigotry and other hate groups have declared war on education.  They ban books, they rewrite history, they attack education.   Katrina vanden Heuvel (THE NATION) notes:

They don’t just air grievances. Their website offers free trainings for parents to help them testify to school boards—or even get elected to them. They advocate for bathroom bills and teacher restrictions and laws requiring school staff to out queer students to their parents. And of course, they’re pushing for book bans—though the organization’s executive director would have you believe these aren’t real bans, because you can still purchase the books in question “via booksellers or the Internet.”

Citizens Defending Freedom is even less subtle—their site boasts endorsements from disgraced former Trump adviser Mike Flynn and disgraced current MyPillow CEO Mike Lindell. They successfully campaigned for the Texas State Board of Education to dissociate from the American Library Association (which they call a “woke organization”), and want other states to do the same. One chapter recently challenged over 100 books as “age-inappropriate” for Fort Worth’s school libraries, including The Handmaid’s Tale—even though banning The Handmaid’s Tale sounds like something out of The Handmaid’s Tale.

Then there’s Moms for Liberty. When it launched in 2021, the organization was originally focused on fighting against Covid-19 protections—like mask and vaccine mandates—in schools. Now they spend their time electing school board members who share their concerns, and flooding board meetings with parents who are outraged that their kids are reading books about interracial relationships, hurricanes, and male seahorses carrying eggs.

When Moms for Liberty gets a book banned, not only does it deprive one district of that specific text; it can set a dangerous standard. Earlier this year, the group successfully banned a graphic-novel version of The Diary of Anne Frank from a Florida high school—which included passages about puberty that other adaptations omitted. Flash-forward to last week in Texas: a teacher was fired for assigning the same book to her eighth grade reading class.

Never mind that those eighth graders are the same age Frank was when she wrote her diary, experiencing puberty themselves and asking similar questions about their bodies—including, as Frank wrote, curiosities about “the little hole underneath.” Parents are supposed to pretend that exposure to that level of graphic detail will permanently warp the minds of their 14-year-olds.

Meanwhile, in February, a South Carolina high school teacher assigned her AP English students Ta-Nehisi Coates’s Between the World and Me. Two students objected to the book’s discussion of Blackness in America, and reported their teacher to a school board member who was endorsed by Moms for Liberty. Because a state proviso explicitly prohibits lessons that make students “feel discomfort” about their race, the curriculum was immediately abandoned, and the books taken away.

You're supposed to want more for the next generation -- for them to do better, for them to be smarter and more educated.  Not the hate groups.  No, Moms For Bigotry want the US to fall behind every other nation in the world when it comes to education.  They've declared war on the truth and they throw lies at facts.  They'll run this nation into the ground if they aren't confronted and called out.  The sad thing is, they don't even grasp how ridiculous they look to the children they pretend they're trying to 'protect.'  The kids are starving for knowledge and grasp that this world has some serious problems to address.  

Today’s children and young adults care more about climate change than they do most issues as temperatures have reached record highs and the number of weather-related disasters continues to rise.
Yet research suggests the learning materials students are consuming in school have in some cases muted their coverage of climate change. Students told USA TODAY treatment of the issue has remained limited in schools even as their demands for such education have grown.
“Everything I learned about climate change was self-taught,” said Amara Ifeji, 21, now a senior at Northeastern University in Boston and an environmental justice advocate. Her low-income high school in Maine didn’t require climate change instruction for students in her particular science, technology, engineering and math program, let alone instruction that addressed the uneven impacts on people of color.

While a number of states have changed their standards and curricula to address climate change, she worries about all the students at schools that lack the resources or the political will to make it a formal and interdisciplinary part of the learning experience. Polls have found a majority of teachers still don’t talk about the topic in class, usually saying it's outside their wheelhouse.

The following sites updated: