Update on Alaska as Reality Show Culture

18 10 2010

I’ve been known to wonder what the heck goes on in Minnesota as a political metaphor, and our own state of Florida is a literal carnival of crazy when it comes to public affairs.

[I]n Minnesota, home of Pharyngula-famed PZ Myers. . . PZ himself was blacklisted, police on high alert to enforce his, ahem, “expulsion” from this supposedly scientific, open-inquiry teaching of the controversy. Which they literally did, on threat of his arrest — wonder if such ideological use of police power will be decried or defended, by those who characterize as “free speech” what the anti-abortion party-crashers did at the Dr. Seuss movie premiere?

See also

Mark Drake, of the Republican party in Minnesota, said: “To compare the democratically elected leader of the United States of America to Hitler is an absolute moral outrage which trivialises the horrors of Nazi Germany.”

But today, on the heels of my mentioning Sarah Palin’s personal reality of Alaska as reality show, Alaska repeats as the state throwing me into a state of shocked disbelief:

When Hopfinger continued to try to ask questions, one of the guards put the reporter in an arm-bar and then handcuffed him [and isolated him out of all public view for nearly half an hour.]

Hopfinger was released after police arrived. [But were the guards then handcuffed, perhaps charged with false arrest/unlawful detention/kidnapping? ]

The reporter was on public property where a public event was being held at the time of the incident.

See the latest here if you’re interested in civil rights and constitutional principles as real rather than as scripted skits for world wide wrestling as reality-show entertainment.

The US Senate candidate’s private guards argue the reporter they handcuffed to stop him asking questions of their boss, was just a blogger (not a real reporter IOW) and that at the time, even that wasn’t known to them.

But here’s a contravening fact (you decide if it’s relevant): Hopfinger edits the for-profit Alaska Dispatch, which employs four reporters, two of whom have won Pulitzer Prizes. And even if you decide he wasn’t a reporter and was a lowly citizen on public property, does that make him illegitimate in the role of public question-asker?

OTOH how legitimate is this major party’s nominee telling a public story and asking to be trusted by Alaskans, indeed by the American public generally? Is he a worthy leader to help decide our national questions of security and progress, war and peace, rags and riches, education, ethics, secrecy and transparency, civil rights and basic human dignity? Can he be trusted with the influential power of a Senate seat?

Is he above all questioning to the point that he needn’t even stoop to explain what makes him uniquely so?

That, let us note, is the very question real reporters ask, and the very question private goons both literal and metaphorical are paid so well to prevent being answered! Or more accurately, it’s the question they do answer with all their attempts to prevent it being asked, surely an answer more real in itself than any scripted soundbites on any “news” channel it pays a candidate to prefer as fake public forums, to real ones.

It’s quite clear even when it’s cloudy, that going on the warpath over words ends badly, and leaves behind a populace no more enlightened than it ever was, much less than it could have been. . .

Glad we cleared that up! Have a bright week and clear sailing, whoever and wherever you really are . . .

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6 responses

18 10 2010
JJ

Some extreme examples of what isn’t even being questioned — really, in Real America?! (Note that Alaska’s Joe Miller makes the list, more than once.)

With the midterm elections just over two weeks away, it seems like a good time to review exactly what things the GOP is a-okay with:

Emailing bestiality porn? Check (Carl Paladino);
Dabbling in witchcraft, but shunning masturbation? Check (Christine O’Donnell);
Saying gays and sexually active single women shouldn’t be allowed to teach? Check (Jim DeMint);
Calling unemployment benefits unconstitutional? Check (Joe Miller);
Eliminating Medicare? Check (Paul Ryan);
Forcing the US to withdraw from the UN? Check (Sharron Angle);
Advocating repeal of the 17th Amendment? Check (Joe Miller again).

Who says the Tea Party is intolerant? Indeed, aside from playing Nazi dress-up as a father/son bonding experience, you can do and say just about anything… as long as you want to “take back your country.”

18 10 2010
JJ

Just heard KY candidate Rand Paul on tv saying about his opponent Jack Conway, whose hand he ostentatiously refused to shake after a debate in which said opponent dared to question him about a reported incident Paul obviously fears to discuss: “I’m not sure if I’ll appear in public with someone who’s gonna question my religion.”

Okay. I’m actually all for not having personal religious faith anywhere near public policy debate as question or more especially ANSWER! But I question whether Rand really is, considering past statements like:

“We Wouldn’t Need Laws If Everyone Were Christian”
and his family’s Reconstructionist worldview that God governs everything including civil rights and the economy, not the secular State (here reportedly put forward in MINNESOTA, ha!)

22 10 2010
JJ

Daryl advises me today that President George HW Bush said he didn’t consider non-theists to be citizens because this is a Christian country. Sigh. And people wonder why this country, whatever it is, is in constitutional crisis.

With that as background, here’s more about Alaska:

JOE MILLER’S FRINGE CAMPAIGN AIDE – Mother Jones: “According to Miller’s campaign disclosure forms, Miller has paid Terry Moffitt of High Point, North Carolina, $2500 for consulting services. Moffitt is not known as a political consultant. But he is a man of many interests. He’s been a dean at a Christian high school (where he taught creationism), and he has traveled around the world to promote Christianity. (He refers to himself as the “Christian Indiana Jones.”)

He also owns a security business, and the firm’s website says Moffitt is able “to provide security consultation services, perform technical threat assessments, and design pre-emptive security measures” for education and nonprofit organizations.

His personal website notes he “had a contract put on his head by organized crime, received death threats from radial [sic] Islamic groups and been bitten by a very nasty spider in Australia.” On top of all this, Moffitt is the chairman of the Family Policy Network, a group that passionately opposes homosexuality.”

23 10 2010
Nance Confer

So let’s start the rumor that this wingnut was turned gay by a radial Muslim spider! 🙂

26 10 2010
JJ

What about THIS wingnut, having his goons use not just “security” handcuffs but actual beat-downs, and calling it merely “crowd control” — I think we’ve got authoritarian trouble, right here in what we used to celebrate as the Land of the Free.

On Tuesday, Lauren Valle spoke for the first time since being thrust into the center of an alarming campaign fracas. Valle said that she recognized the Paul supporters who went after her and felt frightened almost immediately after they claimed they were there to do “crowd control.” Her treatment, she said, was “premeditated.”

27 10 2010
JJ

Just overheard from another room the latest mention of football’s “minor head injury more serious than ever understood” story, and thought of the head-stomped Rand Paul crowd control crime. More serious than we ever understood.

“It takes a whole lot less hitting to get brain injury than we ever before assumed” [and] “where all this is going to lead, nobody knows.”

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