Last night I decided to head down to the protests and see and for myself what Bernie Sanders supporters who came to Philadelphia had to say about what happened to their campaign.
The air was knocked out of these people. They complained of being cheated. They also complained bitterly that their grievances got little attention from MSNBC, CBS, NBC, FOX… as if there was a deliberate attempt to make sure the protests and the Sanders delegates inside the Wells Fargo Center got as little attention as possible.
This video when Sanders delegates stormed out of the convention demonstrates the plot well:
A shill sent to chase the delegates to shame them outside the media tent tried to sell a spin that the Sanders delegates, the delegates who have credentials to represent Sanders at the convention mind you, are Donald Trump operatives. It is that ridiculous.
At the protests last night, protestors were waiting for Sanders delegates to come meet them after the convention finally closed. Delegates were sent away from the protestors waiting outside the AT&T Station entrances. It wasn’t until after a large bulk of the protestors leave did a smattering of Sanders delegates come out… at 1 in the morning.
There was absolutely zero media coverage. Some indep coverage came from folks such as Vox, and Buzzfeed. And you had to follow it on Twitter because it’s unlikely the story editors at either website will actually use any of their own footage in any stories. It’s not helpful to Mrs. Clinton.
The protestors got zero media coverage last night. Not even a millisecond. If you wanted to get a phalanx of national reporters and cameras chasing you at the Wells Fargo Center, the easiest way to go about it would be to hold up a Hillary campaign sign and start shouting at Sanders delegates and volunteers. Even MSNBC made a spirited editorial decision to exclude Sanders folks as much as they possibly good. Sanders delegates on the floor frequently had the lights shut off on them inside the Center:
DNC shuts off lights over Bernie protestors chanting "no more war" during former defence secretary Panetta's speech. pic.twitter.com/hHRHMGDYdX
That tactic happened every single night of the convention. It got little attention because it didn’t sell the message of unity.
I am a Republican. There is no doubt in any Republican’s mind that the Republican Party is not unified around Donald Trump. Senator Ted Cruz made that crystal clear at the Republican Convention.
Remember: Republicans had 16 candidates up for nomination for President. The process worked as it always has in the Republican Party. There was a great deal of pressure to use party rules and tactics to manipulate who the eventual nominee was as it was clear that a lot of popular support was heading Donald Trump’s way. The RNC did not want him as their nominee. Establishment Republicans even threatened and eventually carried out their threat to boycott the convention. But nobody can claim that Donald Trump was unfairly chosen.
That cannot be said the same of Hillary Clinton.
I am confident that 100 days from now media outlets will try to overlook and pretend the Wikileaks emails never happened and that Mrs. Clinton was selected fair and square. That’s not plausible. The finger was held on the scales the entire time the Democratic primaries were underway. The DNC was fundraising for her and colluding cash, donor lists and favors. Sanders complained bitterly of this and he was right.
Hillary pundits, whom I derisively label as “HillaryBOTS”, because they’re programmed-shills, will tell you that this level of collusion is a normal Democratic function and Schultz was just trying to protect her party. If Donald Trump wins this election, that claim is null and void.
If Hillary Clinton wins, Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz will be rewarded with a post in the Clinton presidency for her work at the DNC to throw the primary Hillary’s way. That’s not going to leave a pleasant taste in anyone’s mouth.
This is the dirtiest election in American politics since 1972 when the DNC headquarters at the Watergate hotel were burglarized. But unlike then, this time it’s the burglary victim who gets all the blame.
If you are so upset that Donald J. Trump called on Russia to release Hillary Clinton’s deleted emails, then maybe you should ask the FBI to unplug the server in their evidence room in Quantico. They took it from the bathroom where it was operating.
We all know what Westboro Baptist Church is. We all know what the acronym “WBC” stands for. Every gay American and just about every gay in western civilization knows about the anti-LGBT “church” that is not a church. Louis Theroux lived with the church for a week for the BBC hit The Most Hated Family in America. He’s covered Westboro in more detail and revealed more about Fred Phelps and the Phelps family in one hour-long doco than any city reporter could ever hope to do.
I am not going to talk about Westboro’s message other than they came to my city to protest the Mazzoni Center yesterday which provides healthcare to LGBT people in the Philadelphia region.
I’m going to talk about Westboro’s business model and why some journalists help feed them.
Westboro Baptist Church has only three goals:
Exploit the flaws of the First Amendment to attract media attention to itself and cause outrage
Capitalize on that outrage by filing civil lawsuits wherever it recognizes that their right to free speech and assembly has been unlawfully thwarted
Extract settlement cash and plow some of it back into more protesting
WBC exists to generate media coverage. It has a message, a very ridiculous one, and we all know what it is. What Westboro is truly after is to be glorified in media coverage, generate outrage and hope to convert that outrage into cash.
In one aspect the initial outrage against WBC’s antics is one accelerant of LGBT acceptance in the United States. The protesting of military funerals in 2004 and 2005 and the biker counter-rallies that followed targeted everyday straight American people. People that we hold up high in society. Westboro holding up signs at military funerals saying “GOD LOVES DEAD SOLDIERS” and other nonsense is what helped turn Middle America pro-gay in the 00’s. Westboro Baptist Church has outlived its usefulness in that regard.
To make money, Westboro is quick to identify where their protests have been aborted in violation of the First Amendment. It then files suit and demands settlement cash. It usually wins many lawsuits filed against it. Several Phelps family members are practicing attorneys. One family member who also handles media comms for WBC is Rebekah Phelps-Davis. She delivered oral argument before the Supreme Court and won. WBC are First Amendment professionals and are smarter at it then most lawyers that handle legal for the newspaper industry.
For the last few years journalists covering protests where Westboro have turned up have given them very little coverage. Many journalists now understand how WBC works and that the more coverage they give to WBC, the more likely it is they’ll return in hopes to gain more coverage. Westboro is like the plague of German cockroaches you can’t get rid of in your basement. When outrage is generated, they will keep coming back until they milk it dry.
It pains me to see that one Philly news outlet has already splashed a graphic of a WBC member who only attended the Mazzoni protest long enough to ensure that he got the required camera coverage. He promptly left. It was hot out. That journalist was obviously not aware that he was suckered once again by WBC.
Journalists have to draw a line somewhere when covering activists and how they grant coverage. Activists whose only purpose is seeking media attention comes at a price of not delivering any news; much less any news that carries impact.
WBC are technically activists but their modus operandi is to secure video clips of their signs, ensure they make it on to the journalist’s website and in the slug photo for an article. As soon as that is secured they move on to the next event that they know will have media coverage.
That has been their strategy for the last fifteen-plus years. That’s always been their strategy. America has witnessed enough WBC coverage and for long enough that the most out-of-touch straight people are fully-aware of their formula. Chances are your step-niece’s cat knows what Westboro Baptist Church is.
So, journos… please stop. Just. Stop.
If you’re going to cover an event and WBC is there, don’t assign pictures to them. Don’t give them video coverage. Give it to counter-protestors (if any attend at all). In most cases Westboro Baptist Church members show up at an event and location where they misjudged the appeal for coverage and seeing no counter-protestors and media there, they pack up and leave quickly. I’ve watched them turn up to an abortion clinic, stick around for 15 minutes, then promptly leave. They don’t stick around when there are no cameras and no one is around to be outraged by them.
For the last five years more and more journalists have understood WBC’s playbook and when WBC is around with other protestors they skip covering them. The lower amount of coverage is what will cause Westboro Baptist Church to go extinct. Give them coverage whenever they break from their decades-old protesting formula and do something novel (hint: they won’t). That is why they have been dying out.
If you haven’t guessed by now I’ve taken a siesta from the usual topic of Philadelinquency: our urban issues.
Because frankly with the DNC in town who gives a shit about some Jersey slumlord who drives a Maserati and treats his tenants like shit? Nobody.
Since I am of the gay I have a distinctive position on the topic of Islam. Because a vast majority of people are stupid and clueless about this and I am not, I will make these points first before I start:
First: #NotAllMuslims (that’s someone who practices Islam), are terrible.
Second: Not all people who live in the Middle East are muslim. Stupid westernerns, especially ourselves (and Donald Trump) conflate being Middle Eastern with being muslim. While it’s no surprise most Arabs are muslims, some are not.
Third: There are secular muslims. They live more so in the West but a small minority in other countries as well. A secular person is someone who separates their faith from public life. A secular person is adamantly against theocracy, a religion that’s dictated by the state. Basically a secular muslim believes in the separation of church and state as much as you and I do. Separation of church and state becomes more evident when you have Christians who want open prayers (in English, to the white-people God) and muslims who want to see prayer rooms in public schools. Neither of these two things should be permitted. Send your kids to a religious school if they need to pray before they do their trig exam.
Turkey and Azerbaijan are the only two states with Islam as the dominant religion that I know of that try to maintain secularism. Turkey’s secularism is falling apart thanks to the fake coup it just had and President Erdoğan (pronounced ER-DOH-WON) has designs on the country to dismantle the protections in Turkish law that maintain its secular society. Azerbaijan is secular mostly as a function of its people not being very religious.
OK… did you get through all that? Good.
The majority of asylum-seeking muslims wanting to enter western countries in the EU and the United States are not of the secular order, they are of the mainstream religious faithful. This presents a problem: traditional Islamic belief and especially Islamic religious law openly persecutes homosexuals. That’s not compatible with western civilization… at. all.
Islamopologists like the U.S. based CAIR spreads lies that muslim people love the gays, which is far from the truth. Tolerance of homosexuals is very low in the Islamic world. In six muslim nations the punishment for identifying as a homosexual involves jail, torture and/or death. In 2012 secular Azerbaijan got into a heated dispute with its next-door neighbor Iran over Iranian fears that the Azerbaijani government would sanction a gay pride parade in the capital of Baku. Both countries recalled their ambassadors. Turkey has stopped its LGBT Pride festival in Istanbul. An attempt to hold one this year was met with water cannon on the orders of President Erdoğan.
And ISIS? Well, like it or not, ISIS claims it runs a nation-state that follows Islamic law by the actual book. And like all other fragments of Islamic following, it believes that it follows the only true and correct way to follow Islam.
It does not matter if other Islamic clerics and other non-ISIS muslims say “Daesh is not Islam”. That’s the same thing as Catholics calling out Mormons as whack-a-doos… who cares? Create a large enough following and for a long-enough time period and the denunciations mean less and less. Sunni Wahabbists are extremely homophobic and the school of Islamic teaching that Wahabbis follow think throwing gays off of rooftops and stoning them is awesome. Whabbism happens to be the mainstream dominant religious school that Saudi Arabia follows. ISIS ramps up Wahabbism to a purer form.
U.S. based muslims of the newly-arrived variety are not going to be tolerant of some western liberal beliefs and see no reason to adapt. Intolerance of homosexuals is at the very top of that list of objections that they have. It’s no secret.
The largest mass shooting in American history right now cannot be ignored. Groups like CAIR (Center for American-Islamic Relations) would prefer not to be questioned about it further because they can’t process the slaughtering of the LGBT community at the hands of someone who came to fantasize the violence of religious persecution–Islamic religious persecution. CAIR does not have any believable spin for that.
Keep in mind that there are many U.S. muslims, both secular and non–who abhor the Pulse nightclub shooting. Liberal muslims, those who have adopted to western culture norms and abhor violence against LGBT people I consider my allies. I saw many ethnic Albanians, Indonesians, Turkish-Americans who got out of their homes to go attend the memorials.
Likewise I can’t afford to ignore the loads of British muslims who had rather nasty fatalistic words to say. The “eye for an eye” responses that groups like CAIR don’t want you to read that dismiss incidents like Pulse because muslims are killed somewhere else on the planet.
Our Constitution doesn’t allow our laws to force tolerance on to any religion within our borders. We do however have complete control over our borders and we can limit the amount of immigration we receive from countries who have citizens that clearly demonstrate a low adaptability to our society.
If Turkey spirals out of control… should we accept loads of Turkish immigrants into the United States? Yes. The ones seeking asylum are likely going to be secular Turks. If the secular population of Turkey ever left the country Turkey would destabilize completely and be dragged into constant sectarian and inter-ethnic warfare, but c’est la vie. Azerbaijan or Indonesia? Again, yes. They’re all populations where their national societies have demonstrated adaptability to the west. Even Lebanon is a positive candidate for immigration, provided no Palestianian-Lebanese with prior ties to Hezbollah are among them. Same story for Jordanians.
But what about incompatible countries? My answer there is simple: no. Immigration shouldn’t be free and open and the barriers to entry should be sufficient to prevent our own way of life (and my life) from being threatened. Countries like Afghanistan, Yemen, Syria, Libya, Iraq, Iran, Saudia.
What about home-grown terrorists?
Here’s where you remind me that we have Americans within our own borders that we’ve raised-up to be hateful people, like Omar Mateen, the Pulse nightclub terrorist. He was raised up with super-intolerant Afghan parents like his nutcase of a father who emigrated to the United States. He was raised here. He then radicalized himself and we couldn’t detect it. He held a job, holding a gun, guarding a Palm Beach County courthouse.
That’s the fun with religion and its intolerance–it’s not something that “contains”. Out of all the proposals that Congress has come up with–not a single proposed new law would have prevented the Pulse nightclub attack if it existed as a law beforehand. Not a single one, except this: we shouldn’t have ever let Omar Mateen’s dad enter the United States. But that’s water under the bridge.
The real problem here is that we as a society are not doing enough to breed tolerance within ourselves and the immigrants who come here. The last mass-immigration event we had in the United States was in 1976 when over 100,000 Vietnamese fled Vietnam and resettled in the United States, most of them establishing large communities in Texas and California. Little did Americans know that Vietnamese and American populations are fairly compatible with one another despite the stark difference in politics and extreme differences in culture.
Vietnamese immigration to the United States demonstrates that political differences factor little when it comes to whether or not a population will be successful at migration. The belief structure of immigrants and their motivation for migration is what really matters.
France, Belgium and Germany have all tried free and open borders to the world. All three, including us, are suffering domestic terror attacks.
It’s for that reason that I am not a fan of importing muslims who are not secular or don’t already hold a liberal belief structure or do not come from a liberalized society. They should not be qualified to emigrate to the United States until they can personally liberate their own beliefs or, as what may happen in Turkey in the future, need to flee a country that was tolerant and liberal and has allowed religious schizophrenia to retard its citizens.
That is not a lot to ask. No one is a racist for holding that opinion.
Anyone telling you that having this opinion is a racist is only too happy to see gay people like me, like those in Orlando, being slaughtered. They are among the far-left stupids who have helped turn the EU in a basket case and created the backlash-popularism that fueled Brexit.
The left was very supportive of us queer people when we came toe-to-toe with mainstream evangelicals and the Catholic Church. The left has abandoned us when it comes to the much-less tolerant and very mainstream homophobia found within Islam.
I’m more than tolerant and forgiving of my muslim brothers and sisters out there–who can understand that homophobia is a big problem and that LGBT people have a right to exist on this planet. I don’t have any right to tell muslims what they should and shouldn’t believe.
I am not required to tolerate intolerance like stupids of the far-left demands of you–who calls you a racist if you don’t, and neither should you.