Monday, August 30, 2010

Randi Rhodes: They Can`t Even Count Right!

Were you at Glenn Beck’s big rally on Saturday? Even if you weren’t, chances are somebody from Fox News counted you. They counted over 400,000 people who weren’t there. Meanwhile, the company CBS hired to give an accurate estimate of the crowd size said there were about 87,000 people there. Fox News and the people associated with the rally were throwing around numbers like half a million, or even a million. I want those people to balance my checkbook. By way of comparison, there were an estimated 200,000 people at Martin Luther King’s rally in 1963. That’s like 2 million in Fox News numbers! Martin Luther King got his crowd without the internet. But then Glenn Beck got his crowd without a coherent message. All I know is, there was no overcrowding on the Green or Yellow subway lines in Washington.
During his speech, Glenn Beck denied that he was a “fearmonger,” by comparing himself to “the man who saw the iceberg” on the Titanic. Uh Glenn, if we’re going to be using Titanic analogies, you’re the iceberg, OK? Alright, I shouldn’t say that. The iceberg that struck the Titanic had a much clearer agenda than Glenn Beck. Incidentally, that’s an unusual defense against fearmongering. What is Beck saying? It’s not fearmongering—you really do need to be afraid! Right, Glenn. You’re not trying to scare anybody. You’re just saying we’re all gonna die. For the record, if Glenn Beck were on the Titanic, he’d be trying to convince all the people in steerage that the lifeboats are Marxist. Lifeboats are there to keep people from drowning. Hmm… sounds like socialism to me. In a sense, Glenn Beck’s world is like the Titanic. It’s totally dark, he’s WAY out to sea, and the only people who are going to get through this are the very wealthy who are up top.

Glenn Beck evidently wore a bulletproof vest at the rally. Glenn, I don’t think you need a bulletproof vest. After all, nothing ever seems to get through to you anyway. You don’t need a bulletproof vest, you need something that can deflect the facts. Of course, your own thick skull seems to work pretty well for that. The next day Glenn Beck said the FBI put him in the bulletproof vest, explaining “If there’s an event of high risk, the FBI is there.” OK, I agree this was an event of high risk, but the risk wasn’t TO Glenn Beck, it was FROM Glenn Beck.

Thom's blog
Multi-Millionaire Glen Beck is the Anti-Christ
Yesterday, far right wing Faux News Performer & Multi-Millionaire Glenn Beck preached to a reported 87,000 supporters at his "Restoring Honor" rally and then later appeared on Faux News Sunday with Chris Wallace. When Wallace noted that Multi-Millionaire Beck called President Obama's faith "a perversion of the gospel of Jesus Christ" and Wallace wondered who made Multi-Millionaire Beck "the God Squad," Multi-Millionaire Beck called the President "demonic." Multi-Millionaire Beck said, "The pope even said, this is Pope Benedict, that it is demonic not divine when theology crosses into the line of doing that which only the divine can do. He was speaking specifically about liberation theology." Media Matters also notes that during his interview with Wallace, Beck dismissed the economic agenda associated with Martin Luther King's march 47 years ago, and said that Christians don't recognize Obama's faith. The reality is that Martin Luther King and Liberation Theology call for the same things Jesus Christ did 2000 years ago. Jesus fed the masses, and did ask for a co-payment. Jesus said, to his disciples the only way to get into heaven was to feed the hungry, heal the sick, visit those in prison, and make sure people were clothed and housed. Multi-Millionaire Glen Beck, on the other hand, is collaborating with oil billionaires who promote "less government" which really means no regulation of the oil industry; "lower taxes," which really means "don't raise taxes on billionaires"; and "roll back Obamacare," which really means "keep multi-millionaires like Steven J. Hemsley, who took a half a billion dollars as CEO of United Healthcare, in charge of only healing the wealthy." His Mormonism aside, the anti-theology and naked plutocratic agenda that multi-millionaire Glen Beck is promoting makes him not only NOT a follower of Christ but arguably the opposite. Multi-Millionaire Glen Beck is the Anti-Christ.

Friday, August 27, 2010

Randi Rhodes: Honor that needs no restoration

If you’re tired of seeing candidates like Florida’s Rick Scott who make you want to cry, here’s someone who will make you laugh, at least at first. There’s a guy running for mayor of Providence, Rhode Island named Chris Young (pictured left, clinging to the Virgin Mary) who is providing Youtube with the best video since Basil Marceaux came out of nowhere. During a live debate, Chris asked his girlfriend to marry him. It’s not clear if Chris sprang that one on his girlfriend, but she’s his campaign manager. So if she didn’t know, she’s not doing her job. In any case, the marriage proposal has been the closest to normal Chris Young has been in this campaign. During a TV interview, Chris serenaded his interviewer with a song that sounded kind of like Gordon Lightfoot after a severe blow to the head. What I want to know, Chris, is where do you stand on the question of the gold-fringed flag?
On a more serious note, here’s a site with some great videos of the 1963 March on Washington. You might learn a little. And if you’re Glenn Beck, you might learn a lot. You might want to spend tomorrow watching these videos so you don’t have to waste time with Glenn Beck’s rally. And I’m sending that advice out to Glenn Beck too.
Bruce Majors, the Tea Party blogger who warned people coming for Glenn Beck’s rally that 80 percent of Washington DC is dangerous is speaking out. I assume he’s doing it from a safe location. Majors claims his directions weren’t racist. Really? The only way the could have been more racist is if they warned visitors about cannibals and headhunters. Major’s guide to DC is like a 2010 guide to the city for people who are living in 1955. I guess his warning that most waitresses and cab drivers “are immigrants, frequently from east Africa or Arab countries” was just an advisory for visitors who don’t speak Somali or Swahili.
Finally, Sarah Palin’s daughter Bristol Palin seems poised to appear on the next season of Dancing with the Stars. I don’t know. Do we really want someone taking part in a dance contest who named their child “Tripp”? Not a good omen.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Randi Rhodes: War TV

The Navy has OK’d a reality television show about the military bomb squads risking their lives defusing explosive devices. Well that’s one way to make those “Ice Road Truckers” and crab fishermen look like wusses. The show is called “Bomb Patrol: Afghanistan.” I guess it sounds better than “I Enlisted for the College Tuition, Get Me Out of Here!” The show will be on the G4 Network. The problem of course is that this could easily be handled in a tasteless and exploitative manner, or as TV networks call it “business as usual.” The first indications from the G4 Network don’t look good. Their promo material stresses that the soldiers’ patrols “could put an EOD tech wearing a 70-pound protective bomb suit in direct contact with a potentially deadly IED.” At least they’re not calling the show “Survivor: Kandahar.” The problem is that they’re teasing it with the possibility that some of those involved may not survive. This is an abomination. Why don’t they just call this show “Pimp My Military”? Besides, if I want to see an explosion on reality TV, I’ll just watch Teresa on The Real Housewives of New Jersey.
Reality can be ugly, especially when it involves Glenn Beck. This weekend is Glenn Beck’s big “Restoring Honor” rally. Glenn Beck restoring honor? That’s like using Mel Gibson to restore civility. Beck is taking over the Lincoln Memorial on the 47th anniversary of Martin Luther King’s “I have a dream” speech there. If Martin Luther King were still around, this would make him wake up screaming. The rally headliners are Glenn Beck and Sarah Palin. It’s kind of like a Woodstock for conservatives, but I’m sure this one will feature a lot more mud. As far as I’m concerned, the mere presence of Glenn Beck and Sarah Palin at the Lincoln Memorial qualifies as vandalism to a national monument. Glenn Beck says “we will reclaim the civil rights movement….” Reclaim? I didn’t know conservatives claimed it in the first place. Is that what you were doing with the water cannons and police dogs? Glenn Beck is completely rewriting history for the sake of a bunch of old people—the kind of people who didn’t like that history back when they were forced to live it. These are people who spent their lives hating the legacy of the Civil Rights movement. Now Glenn Beck is telling them they don’t have to hate it—they can co-opt and distort it. The bottom line is clear: Glenn Beck comes not to praise the Civil Rights movement, but to bury it.
Today’s Homework Discuss
The Muslim NYC cab driver describes the horrifying knife attack:

Thom's blog
Libertarian Paradise of Somalia
In some big triumphs this year, the tea party movement has had successful wins against long-time Sen. Robert Bennett (R-UT), Tea Partier Trey Gowdy won over "reasonable Republican" Rep. Bob Inglis (SC), and now it looks like Senate candidate Joe Miller (R-AK) will beat current Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) in one of the biggest political upsets of the year. As President Bush's former speechwriter Michael Gerson points out today, the Republican party now faces an uphill struggle to rein in the "untested ideology" of these new candidates that is "clearly incompatible with some conservative and Republican beliefs" and may prove "toxic to the GOP." Today on ABC's Top Line, RNC spokesman Doug Heye embraced the radical far right views of GOP candidates like Miller saying, "we embrace whatever candidate needs to do to win." While Bush's speech writer Michael Gerson calls the libertarian tea party concepts of eliminating social security and other social safety net program as untested, in fact the tea party ideology has been tested. If you'd like to check it out, just move to the libertarian paradise of Somalia. No pesky big government bureaucrats, very low taxes, and everyone is free to own all the guns they want.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Randi Rhodes: Time to Vote OUT the Party of NO!

Primary results from last night are in. We still don’t know what’s going on in Alaska, but that’s true in general all the time. In Arizona, John McCain won… and all it cost him was John McCain. He beat JD Hayworth by becoming JD Hayworth. John McCain is a man who wanted to keep his job more than he wanted to keep the qualities that qualified him for his job. One Arizona voter who went for McCain said “I don’t like either of them, but I used to hear JD Hayworth on the radio and he annoyed me.” Wow. Please, JD, go back to the radio. It’s one way to ensure you’ll never hold elective office again. In Florida, the Republican nomination for governor was won by Rick Scott. Or was purchased by Rick Scott. Rick Scott is the closest thing possible to actually having the health insurance industry itself run for office. And I’m sure that’s coming in the wake of the Citizens’ United ruling. Last night New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg offered another passionate defense of the proposed mosque and community center. The Mayor was hosting the annual Ramadan Iftar dinner at his official residence in Gracie Mansion. Gee, maybe he should have checked with the rightwing to make sure Gracie Mansion isn’t too close to Ground Zero for a Ramadan dinner to take place there. But then Gracie Mansion is up around 88th Street. As long as it’s above 59th Street, I guess it’s OK with Newt Gingrich. Some Tea Party people are starting to wonder if Glenn Beck is just using them to promote himself. News to the Tea Party—Glenn Beck didn’t get to be Glenn Beck by concentrating his efforts on anything besides Glenn Beck. Given the things the Tea Party wants to do, I’m actually more than happy to see their energies siphoned off to glorify Glenn Beck. It’s better than doing away with Social Security. A new study says that Adolph Hitler may have had Jewish or African roots. Given Hitler’s racial attitudes, I think he would take the news that he might be Jewish very badly. It would be like telling Glenn Beck he may be descended from open-minded progressives. Today’s Homework Discuss

Thom's blog
Shoot to Kill...Americans?
Frontline, The New Orleans Times-Picayune and ProPublica are reporting that in the jumbled days after Hurricane Katrina an order circulated allowing the New Orleans police to shoot looters, according to present and former members of the department. Some officers who were aware of the order say they refused to carry it out. Some viewed it as fundamental change on the use of deadly force, which only allow police to fire in protect themselves or others from clear physical threat. The accounts of orders to "shoot looters," "take back the city," or "do what you have to do" are fragmentary and it remains unclear who originated them. So far, no officers implicated in shootings have used the order as an explanation. What is clear is that when local government was wiped out, and state government was paralyzed, by a massive hurricane, the "authority of last resort" - the federal government - was ignoring the horrors while President George W Bush first went to a birthday party in Arizona and then a country music concert in California. By the time Bush's advisers finally sat him down and forced him to watch a DVD of news coverage they had assembled, 4 days of horror had passed and almost 2000 American citizens were dead. During this first nightmare week the mostly black citizens of New Orleans hit hardest by the flooding received from all levels of government neglect and bullets rather than food, water and shelter.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Randi Rhodes: Good News for Xenophobes!

Good news for xenophobes who would like to get out more—a tea party blogger has put together a handy guide to Washington, DC for visitors who are coming for Glenn Beck’s rally this weekend. It covers the basics—inexpensive places to eat, and how to avoid black people, Arabs, and other minorities. Really. It’s kind of a Frommer’s guide for racists. The guide warns attendees about which subway lines and neighborhoods to avoid. It doesn’t specify why they should be avoided, but I don’t think it’s because of pricey restaurants. Classic. So Glenn Beck and the Tea Partiers have stolen the Lincoln Memorial for the anniversary of Martin Luther King’s “I have a dream” speech. And they mark the occasion with a handy-dandy guide to avoiding black people. Hey Tea Partiers, you don’t have to worry about avoiding black people. Just go out in your crazy colonial outfits, and the black people will avoid you. But then so will any sane person.
This guide basically confines visitors to the area around the National Mall and all the monuments. So if a person follows these directions, they will probably only run into white people—extremely white people, as in “carved out of marble.” And they won’t see any minorities, unless you count Franklin D. Roosevelt in his wheelchair. Tea Partiers are warned that “Most taxi drivers and many waiters/waitresses (especially in local coffee shops like the Bread and Chocolate chain) are immigrants, frequently from east Africa or Arab countries.” So don’t be shocked when your waitress isn’t Flo from Mel’s Diner. And do people really have to be alerted that taxi drivers may be immigrants? I don’t think there’s been a white guy taxi driver since Travis Bickle. I’ll stick with the immigrants, thank you. The guide specifically warns “Do not use the Green line or the Yellow line.” Ahem. You need to use the Green/Yellow line to get to the National Archives, where the Constitution is kept. Is the government aware what a dangerous neighborhood it’s in? Oh, and the guide also gives the home addresses of Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid, in case any Tea Partiers want to drop in when they’re not busy avoiding Middle Eastern cab drivers.
If Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid want to be safe, maybe they should move to some place off of the Green or Yellow line… where Tea Partiers are afraid to venture.
The weirdest part is that in the middle of all this xenophobia, the guy’s restaurant recommendations include Indian tandoori and middle eastern restaurants. Hate is hate, but it shouldn’t keep you from enjoying a good baba ganoush. Your tour guide also points out that “As a rule, African immigrants do not like for you to assume they are African Americans and especially do not like for you to guess they are from a neighboring country (e.g. Eritrea, Ethiopia, Somalia) with whom they may have political or military tensions.” Great. Now he’s Emily Post for racists. Something tells me this guy has had a few uncomfortable exchanges while ordering breakfast. “I’ll take the Denver omelet. Where you from anyway? Somalia? Am I right?”
Today’s Homework Discuss
Watch as a Ground Zero construction worker is harassed for looking just a little too Muslim:

Thom's blog
Leave no Billionaire Behind...
Giant U.S. companies and their multi-millionaire CEOs have stepped up their lobbying to block Democrats' plans to let the Bush tax cuts on wealthier Americans expire at year's end. Republicans and business say that letting the Bush tax cuts expire will choke off the economic recovery, and they are demanding that Democrats commit to hearings, a mark-up of legislation and then a movement to the Senate floor for a vote to extend the tax cuts for the very rich. As Paul Krugman notes in his opinion piece yesterday, this would be the equivalent of 120,000 wealthy people getting $3 million each every year. The Bush tax cuts for millionaires and billionaires have added, when including interest, over a trillion dollars to our national debt, money which will have to be re-paid by you, me, and our children. Now Republicans want to extend these billionaire tax cuts for a single and a simple reason: the billionaires fund the Republican party and it's candidates.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Randi Rhodes: Propaganda Opportunity

There were opposing rallies over the mosque near ground zero this weekend. Mosque opponents waved signs with the word “Sharia” written in blood. There’s nothing like promoting religious intolerance by accusing others of religious intolerance. Yes, there are some intolerant and potentially violent Muslims in the world. They’re a very tiny minority… and they’re pretty much the Islamic equivalent of a lot of the people protesting the proposed mosque. Islamic radicals around the world are seizing on protests against the proposed Islamic community center as a propaganda opportunity. If you insist that millions of people who are not your enemy are your enemy, it’s inevitable that some of them will become your enemy. Newt Gingrich sent out an email saying “We will never win a war when we are afraid to even name our enemies.” You’re not naming our enemies, Newt—you’re creating them.
The crazy doesn’t stop in Lower Manhattan. Pat Robertson is worried about a proposed Islamic center in rural Tennessee. This proposed Islamic center is on Veals Road off Bradyville Pike southeast of Murfreesboro. Don’t tell me—is that hallowed ground too?
Shrimpers in Mississippi are refusing to trawl in reopened fishing areas of the Gulf of Mexico because of fear of contamination from oil and dispersants. The fishermen know that those dispersants aren’t made for eating. We don’t know exactly what’s in them, but I don’t think it’s tartar sauce. On August 6th, the Mississippi Department of Environmental Quality reopened all Mississippi waters to commercial and recreational fishing. I’m shocked. You mean Mississippi actually has a Department of Environmental Quality? I guess the Mississippi Department of Environmental Quality is responsible for putting all oil spills into milk jugs. OK, if you want the fisherman to pull seafood out of those waters, let’s just say that the first catch should go straight to the cafeteria of the Mississippi Department of Environmental Quality. They should at least be honest about this. If any of the seafood from these contaminated areas hits the market, it should be marketed as “oysters a la Corexit.”
Today’s Homework Discuss
In his Weekly Radio Address, President Obama focused on the corporate takeover of our democracy:

Thom's blog
Is there room in Guantanamo for Faux News?
According to a report from Yahoo!News, the second largest shareholder, the parent company of Fox News, Saudi Prince Al-Waleed bin Talal in News Corp, has donated hundreds of thousands of dollars to projects by Feisal Abdul Rauf, who is planning to build a Muslim community center and mosque near Ground Zero in Manhattan. According to the report the Saudi Prince has directly funded the Imam's projects to the tune of more than $300,000." The Saudi Prince's personal charity, the Kingdom Foundation, donated $305,000 to Muslim Leaders of Tomorrow, a project sponsored by two of Rauf's initiatives, the American Society for Muslim Advancement and the Cordoba Initiative, which is building the Manhattan mosque. It seems ironic that Faux News' second-largest shareholder, after Rupert Murdoch, has financial links to the "Ground Zero mosque" while the Faux News Performers talking heads attempt to link the mosque to radical Islamism. Does this mean by Faux News standards, Faux News is a terrorist organization? Is there room in Guantanamo for the Faux News Performer hosts and that companies executives?

Friday, August 20, 2010

Thom Hartmann: Iceland is Exporting the Truth

Thom's blog
Iceland is Exporting the Truth
After Iceland's near-economic collapse exposed deep-rooted corruption, the country is looking to become a safe haven for journalists and whistleblowers from all around the world. Their Parliament in June unanimously voted for an Icelandic "Modern Media Initiative" protecting journalists. The project is taking off with the help of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange. This comes while there is a growing tendency of governments to muzzle secret information on the internet. Birgitta Jonsdottir, the member of parliament behind the initiative, said, 'We took all the best laws from around the world and pulled them together, just like tax havens do, in order to create freedom of information and expression, a transparency haven." Some countries export oil, some countries exports cars, and now Iceland want their main export to be the truth. If George W. Bush was still president the bombing would begin tomorrow.


Randi Rhodes: Sacred Ground

It's Friday, ya bastids!
Some of the strippers at the clubs near Ground Zero have spoken out. Give them credit… it’s not easy to take a stand when you’re wearing 8-inch heels. They should survey all of the strippers in lower Manhattan. If there’s anyone who is familiar with the concept of “polls,” it’s strippers.
Here’s some news for opponents of the center—Muslim prayer services have been held since 2009 at the proposed community center site. The new part of the proposal is an Islamic community center with a swimming pool and gym. So are opponents really just opposed to Muslims getting into shape? OK Muslims, you can pray, but don’t do any crunches! Maybe opposition to the gym and the pool would be a clever move. There is a right to freedom of religion in the Constitution, but no specific right to work out. Yes, the Declaration of Independence does mention a right to “the pursuit of happiness,” but in my experience working out has nothing to do with happiness.
Why are 20-somethings taking so long to grow up? People in their 20’s are still searching for themselves. I can tell you where you can find yourself—in the bathroom. At least that’s where you are every time I need to use it. Anyway, for people who can’t commit, kids in their 20’s seem to have no problem committing to having some tramp-stamp tattooed on their upper butts for the rest of their lives. I’m glad I didn’t commit to a tattoo in my early 20’s. I would have spent the past couple of decades explaining to people who the hell Night Ranger is.
On that note, a new study says that the “cougar” phenomenon of older women hooking up with younger guys doesn’t really exist. As soon as they heard that, a bunch of young guys thought “Great. I just learned to dance ‘the Hustle’ for nothing.” A researcher named Michael Dunn says he searched and was unable to find any evidence of cougars. My first question would be “how old is Michael Dunn?” If he’s is over 40, he’s wasting his time looking for cougars. We’re not coming out for him. If you want to find us, Michael Dunn, don’t go looking yourself. Send out Zac Efron. Today’s Homework Discuss

The Daily Show With Jon StewartMon - Thurs 11p / 10c
Extremist Makeover - Homeland Edition
Daily Show Full EpisodesPolitical HumorTea Party

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Fuji Waterproof Digital Camera - NOT!

Fujifilm FinePix Z33WP Waterproof Digital Camera,
I bought ths camera about a year agao. I loved it. It took great Photos, it was real easy to use, download and very portable. We never used the Underwater feature until this year. It claims to be safe to take photos to 3-10 feet below water. We took it to Fetishcon in Tampa Florida - I took it in the Pool I took 2 Photos under 1 foot of water and it froze - it broke - took it into Camera Shop - They say the Camera is Toast/Fried/Broke & cannot retrieve photos - ALL of our Event Photos GONE!!

I do not know what kind of camera to get this time - how do I know if the next one is for SURE Waterproof??? Ummpffttt - Grumble - Grumble!!

oxox, Stacy

Thom Hartmann: Sarah Palin Killed Granny

Thom's blog
Sarah Palin Killed Granny...
In a study by the New England Journal of Medicine that exposes the effects of end-of-life care, doctors have discovered that patients with terminal lung cancer who began receiving palliative care quickly after diagnosis were not only happier, were more mobile and had less pain as the end neared - but they also lived nearly three months longer. Dr. Diane E. Meier, director of the Center to Advance Palliative Care at Mount Sinai School of Medicine said, "It shows that palliative care is the opposite of all that rhetoric about 'death panels,'" and added, "It's not about killing Granny; it's about keeping Granny alive as long as possible - with the best quality of life." Tragically in response to Sarah Palin's hysteria about death panels, advice about end of care options will not be covered by Obamacare.


Randi Rhodes 'The War in Iraq is OVER!'

Hey, the Iraq war is over!
They really snuck that one up on us. They lulled us into complacency for seven and a half years and then “BAM!” Wow. You just blink… continuously for seven and a half years… and it’s over. It might have been nice for President Obama to have invited George Bush back to do the “Mission Accomplished” thing, in kind of a do-over. He could have ordered a banner for Bush that said “Mission Accomplished, For Real This Time. Honest.” The last U.S. combat troops left Iraq yesterday. We still have 50,000 soldiers there in a non-combat role. So now we don’t have people there who shoot, just people who get shot at. This is being billed as the end of combat in Iraq. From here on out it’s no longer combat, it’s just violence. Oh, and there are still some 100,000 contractors in Iraq. So we still have an army in Iraq… just not THE Army.
At seven and a half years, the Iraq War lasted longer than the Revolutionary War. On the whole I’d say we got more out of the Revolutionary War. We got a nation out of the Revolutionary War. I suppose in a sense you could say we got a nation out of the Iraq war, but not nearly as nice of one. On the other hand there are similarities between America after the Revolutionary War and Iraq after this war. They both had an infrastructure appropriate for the late 18th century.
The quality of life indicators for Iraq are not good. For starters, some 600,000 Iraqis have been killed since the invasion began. And as quality of life goes, death is as bad as it gets. Meanwhile, consumer price inflation in Iraq is 50 percent. So even if you manage to stay alive in Iraq, you can’t live in Iraq. 40 percent of professionals have left Iraq since 2003. Great. We went in to get rid of Saddam, and we ended up getting rid of all the doctors, engineers, and architects. Only 37 percent of Iraqi homes are connected to sewer systems. At those numbers the country itself effectively becomes a sewer system. Well, at least if the streets are full of sewage, you can’t see it at night. There are no streetlights. In July Baghdad had five hours of electricity a day. At least when our troops left, nobody had to say “Remember to turn out the lights.” The lights go out on a regular basis on their own.

Today’s Homework Discuss

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Nude Photos of Dr. Laura

WARNING: Real Nude Photos of Dr. Laura Found HERE->

I think the story goes like this - in the 70's she had an affair with this married guy. He was a bit of a shutterbug. A little over 20 years later she is a very famous, newly-converted orthodox ultra-conservative Jewish woman with a "bunchkin" who hurriedly, often harshly and rather coldly extols the virtues of not having sex, among other things, on a national talk-radio show and also briefly on an absolutely HORRIBLE TV show. So this guy released the photos on the net. A federal judge denied her attempts to block their being published.

It occurs to me that it's actually quite easy to be ultra-moral and absolute there-are-no-black-and-whites when your 50, religious and a mother.

Speaking of mothers I'm now reminded of how Dr. Laura's mother was murdered. They hadn't spoken, or spoke very little, for years prior. Dr. Laura didn't pick up her mother's body for something like 10 days from the coroner. Her people released some statment I recall to the effect of "her mother died the way she lived, alone". Talk about honoring thy mother.

Randi Rhodes 'Say Buh-Bye to the Flopping Carp'

HOUR ONE GUEST: Eric Boehlert of on Dr. Laura, etc.Well, Dr. Laura is hanging up her stethoscope… or whatever someone with a degree in physiology uses… maybe a divining rod. Dr. Laura says she will quit her radio show when her contract expires at the end of the year. That gives her less than five months to spread intolerance. How many times can you say the “n-word” in 20 weeks? Not that this will silence her. In addition to the radio show, Dr. Laura has had TV shows, books, syndicated columns, and even a magazine. She’s like Glenn Beck with breasts. Or bigger breasts. Maybe. OK, it’s not a contest.
Dr. Laura made her announcement on the Larry King show (video below). Larry King Live is broadcast live, naturally. The person I feel sorry is the poor guy manning the “dump” button when Dr. Laura is on the show. “Jim, if you hear the n-word, dump! And keep dumping—there might be a whole string of them.”

Referring to the original incident, Schlessinger said she was trying to “help” her caller with “her hypersensitivity.” I guess she decided to use some exposure therapy. “Caller, I’m going to repeat the most offensive racial epithet over and over until you develop immunity to it.” Maybe that’s Dr. Laura’s mission in life—to help people with black skin develop thicker black skin. Dr. Laura said she quit because “I want to regain my First Amendment rights.” That’s an odd statement from someone who just boasted they’re the third most listened-to talk show host in America. Does Dr. Laura think her First Amendment rights are better off if she doesn’t have a nationally distributed radio show? Maybe now she can call into other talk shows and get belittled the way she belittled her caller. Dr. Laura claims “I don’t have the right to say what I need to say.” Dr. Laura, if the n-word is what you “need to say,” you might have Tourette Syndrome. Or on the other hand, you might just be a vicious racist.

Schlessinger insists she wasn’t forced off. “We’ve added five stations this week and added sponsors.” Added sponsors? Who? But she says she’s not quitting. “I feel energized, actually—stronger and freer to say the things that I believe need to be said for people in this country.” OK, Dr. Laura, if the n-word is what you believe needs to be said for people in this country, go to a Tea Party and yell away.


By Leslie Bennetts

By 5:30 A.M., Laura Schlessinger is already working on her syndicated column or her latest book, lifting free weights and doing squat thrusts. Then she puffs her bouffant blond-frosted do and heads for the San Fernando Valley studio where her call-in show - the fastest-growing program in radio history - originates. She moves fast, charging past staffers who beseech her for a moment of her time. Her followers are waiting.
And when she goes on the air at 11 A.M., hordes of them are already on hold, hoping for two or three minutes of her precious wisdom. "Need some help, advice, a kick in the butt?" intones the announcer. "Dr. Laura!"
Although the 51-year-old Schlessinger concedes that she's not a psychotherapist and that what she's doing isn't therapy, those distinctions seem lost on the 60,000 people who call in every day, asking tremendously for the "doctor." They don't care that she got her Ph.D. in physiology (although she also earned a license in marriage, family, and child counseling). They just want her to fix their sorry lives.
Schlessinger's diagnosis of what's wrong with the country is simple: "Too much freedom and too little values!" Her cure? "Preaching, teaching, and nagging." The demand seems insatiable. Since her program was nationally syndicated in 1994, her rise has been meteoric; she has close to 20 million listeners, an audience that is quickly surpassing Rush Limbaugh's and has already topped Howard Stern's. She is now heard on 450 stations in the U.S. and 35 in Canada.
A year ago Schlessinger, her husband, Lew Bishop, and their partner, John Shanahan, sold her show to Jacor Communication Inc. for $71.5 million. Television beckons, although Schlessinger is skittish. Last spring, she abruptly backed out of a deal with Eyemark Entertainment (CBS's syndication arm), saying she didn't want to be associated with the company that syndicates Stern. He retaliated on the air, according to Schlessinger, declaring that she slept her way to the top (a charge she dismisses as evidence of his moral turpitude). After all, Schlessinger has standards - and millions of disciples who expect her to uphold them. When a Dr. Laura Web site was established, 310,000 people clicked onto it at once, crashing the system.
No matter; they can always buy one of her books. The first, Ten Stupid Things Women Do to Mess Up Their Lives, was a New York Times best-seller for 26 weeks; the next, How Could You DO That?!: The Abdication of Character, Courage, and Conscience, held on for 34 weeks. Ten Stupid Things Men Do To Mess Up Their Lives catapulted Schelessinger's total sales to more than 2.2 million.

Her latest arrives this month. The Ten Commandments: The Significance of God's Laws in Everyday Life, which Schlessinger co-authored with Rabbi Stewart Vogel, reflects her evolution, over the last several years, from a non believer into a Conservative Jew and now an Orthodox Jew. She believes in religion - any religion. "I've probably sent more people back to Catholicism than the Pope," she says.
But her followers aren't really seeking religion: they want a taskmaster to stiffen their spines and tell them what to do. And Dr. Laura is happy to oblige, dispensing her advice in doses that land as hard as a cane on the back.
Today, Dr. Laura's sinewy little size-two body is clad in a cornflower-blue Escada blazer and matching skintight jeans cinched around her taut waist. Diamonds glitter at her ears, in the Star of David around her neck, and on her manicured fingers with their blood-red nails. Despite her diminutive size, Schlessinger is a commanding presence. A black belt in karate, she seems tense, coiled, and ready to pounce: "I'm like a panther," she says. Her callers provide ample opportunity.
To a woman whose boyfriend wanted her to have an abortion, Schlessinger snaps, "You got knocked up by a guy who wanted to kill your child?" (Furiously anti-choice, Schlessinger refers to abortion as "sucking it into the sink.") The caller had the baby anyway and moved in with the louse that wouldn't marry her. "You've really blown it badly," snarls Dr. Laura. "Get a backbone transplant here!"
Then there's Valerie, who is reluctant to leave her boyfriend. "You're lying!" Dr. Laura explodes when Valerie denies she's afraid of being alone. "You're wrong! You don't want to face that it's your inadequacy!"
Between callers, Dr, Laura grumbles. "I don't know why women complain about their lives; they're the architects," she says irritably. "Let's not try to find a decent man: let's wait till he turns into one!" she scoffs. "My answer to women who complain about their men is: Pick better!"
She loathes weak women who choose victimhood. "I love women who volunteer," she says witheringly. "There is no oppression of women in this country. We volunteer. Nobody's going to send you to the Gulag if you don't marry somebody."
Schlessinger hates feminists too, but admits she used to be one. "They nauseate and sicken me," she says. "They've destroyed the sanctity of motherhood."
But men - nearly half of her audience are pilloried, too, particularly if they've had children with women they've left. One caller divorced his wife, with whom he has a seven-year-old, a four-year-old, and 18-month-old twins, because she is manic-depressive and suicidal. Dr. Laura has no sympathy for his custody problems: "Your penis helped create this," she says.
Although Schlessinger has become a poster girl for the Christian right ("They love me!" she exults), she doesn't completely toe the party line. She is tolerant of homosexuality, which she believes is not unusually an individual's decision. Moral choices are what interest her. Steve, another caller, is married with children but believes he is gay. "Tough luck," says Schlessinger, "You made a decision to hide, to deny, get married, and have children. You made a covenant. Now be man enough to live it!"
Although Schlessinger is almost always riled up, some days she's on a real tear. "How stupid can you be and still be able to chew your food!" she berates one listener. "Don't be so gutless!" she reproves another. Schlessinger calls one man's wife a "loose woman" and tells a 20-year-old her best friends are "drunken sluts." On other days, particularly with callers who grovel sufficiently, she can be less ferocious. "Since you're so smart, maybe you could be our judge and jury," implores Wendy. "Ohhhh - lubricate me," Dr. Laura purrs lewdly.
At times she even jokes about her own sadism. When Dennis says, "I'll try to listen to your questions carefully and answer them," Dr. Laura replies grumpily, "That's no fun. Then I can't jump on you." When Lita makes it through her first question unbloodied and wants to know if the guru has time for another, Dr. Laura unexpectedly relents, because "I haven't had to yell at you yet." Pause. "I'm hoping."
Often Schlessinger weighs in with a diagnosis before callers have a chance to explain the facts. Before it's established that one woman actually wronged her sister-in-law. Dr. Laura tells her curtly to "eat dirt."
Nor does she consider social context. A man whose girlfriend was date-raped wants to confront the perpetrator. "How do we even know it happened?" Dr. Laura demands. "Women accuse men unfairly!" Then she attacks the victim for not reporting the incident, which occurred more than 20 years ago, when most teenagers didn't understand that forced sex, even with a man you know, is rape.
There is a similar absence of medical and legal context. Worried about paying for her children's orthodontia, a divorced mother asks whether to seek help from the grandparents. Dr. Laura never mentions that the woman is legally entitled to child support from the deadbeat dad.
To her listeners, such lapses don't matter. The more autocratic Dr. Laura is, the more they prostrate themselves. She hates it when they try to clarify matters with relevant facts. "You called for my opinion," she says, "Why would you argue with me?"
And the testimonials keep coming. "Dr. Laura, you are my hero," Shaynee says abjectly. "I think you have a great program." Alison says. "It's helping the world." Linda, whose first adulterous affair was with her therapist, quavers, "You may have saved my life." A grandmother offers, "I wish I had heard you when I was bringing my children up. I've learned a lot from you morally."
And in an age of moral relativity, Dr. Laura's certitude compels. Who could find fault with her message of personal responsibility? Do the right thing! Put your children first! Honor your commitments! She is like having an avenging fury, come to reveal the path to righteousness.
"I am a prophet," she crowed to the Los Angeles Times early this year. After some found that grandiose, she claimed she was misquoted: "I have never, ever said that I was a prophet! That's a total, complete lie," she tells me. ("She said it twice," reports the writer, Janet Wiscombe.)
But Schlessinger's fervor is indisputably evangelical, and her listeners believe her to be a paragon, a beacon of hope and rectitude in a dissolute, degraded world. She gets faxes asking her to run for president. "The country needs you!"
Dr. Laura's old friends and colleagues listen to all this with mirthless amusement. "Everyone who's known her hates her - and on some level she knows it," says Marilyn Kagan, a radio host who incurred Schlessinger's enmity. "She is probably the unhappiest woman I've ever met," says Shelley Herman, a writer who has worked with Schlessinger and been a closest friend for many years. "She doesn't appear to have a guilty conscience, even though we all know the road is littered with people. Maybe that's why she's not happy: she knows from whence she came."
She's writing a book on the Ten Commandments?" asks Dr. Laura's original mentor, veteran Los Angeles radio personality Bill Ballance. He snorts derisively. "She's broken them all."
Clearly, he is joking: Schlessinger is undoubtedly innocent of polytheism and idol worship. But the others seem to be up for grabs, since she insists that the commandments must be understood metaphorically as well as literally. Dr. Laura maintains that character assassination is tantamount to murder; in that case she may have some explaining to do on Judgement Day, which she firmly believes in.
On the surface Schlessinger's life appears exemplary: Lew Bishop, her adoring husband, serves as her manager, and their 12-year-old son Deryk is so smart and poised that she has put him on the air to answer kids' questions. She observes the Sabbath and keeps kosher. (Actually, it's Bishop who keeps kosher; he does all the cooking.) Lew Bishop used to be Episcopalian, but Dr. Laura doesn't believe in mixed marriages, which she calls "interfaithless marriages." So he obligingly converted to Orthodox Judaism, too.
Schlessinger even has friends, although not many. "She doesn't have time for friends," says Patti Edwards, one of Schlessinger's closest friends. "But when she does become your friend, you've got a friend for life," adds Rhoda Marcovitch, a psychologist who says Schlessinger is "the most loyal person."
However, before the happy family and the best-sellers and the dream house with its 30-foot ceilings, there was another Laura Schlessinger. Scratch the surface of the radio industry and the ill will toward her bursts like a festering boil; former co-workers describe a Schlessinger her listeners can't even imagine. "You want to talk to me about Laura?" says Bill Ballance, who is often called the inventor of modern talk radio. "This ogre I created?"
Schlessinger's official life story is studded with odd conflicts and critical omissions. She grew up in Brooklyn and on Long Island, the daughter of Monroe Schlessinger, a Jewish civil engineer, and his Italian war bride, Yolanda Ceccovini. Laura's hostility toward mixed relationships has primal roots; when her parents married, her father's family reacted poisonously because Yolanda wasn't Jewish. "Every member of his family cut him off and would have nothing further to do with him from 1945 on," says Ballance, who knew both Yolanda and Monty. Laura and her sister, Cyndi, were raised in a home where there seemed to be little love. "She was brought up in a quarrelsome family, so her idea of human communications is shouting, screaming, bellowing, and screeching," says Ballance. The Schlessingers eventually divorced, and Monty died of stomach cancer in 1990.
Some of Laura's intimates didn't even know that she had a sister. "She always told me she was an only child," says Shelly Herman.
Schlessinger has been estranged from her sister, who is a marriage and family counselor, apparently since the 1970s. Her friends don't know why. When Ballance, who actually met Cyndi before the rift, asked Laura about it, she just said, "Oh, she's so much prettier than I am!" Laura's own attractiveness has always been an extremely sore subject. "Her daddy told her she was ugly when she was little," explains Herman. Laura, who had brown hair and big glasses back then, remembers this assessment as totally devastating.
Although Schlessinger admonishes her callers to mend family rifts, she hasn't seen her own mother in 14 years. The rupture amazed her friends, who say that Laura's mother was devoted to her. "Laura is a very needy person, and her mother was instrumental in helping her function on a daily basis," explains Herman. "Her mother lived for Laura and would have done anything for her."
Schlessinger claims that her mother walked out on her job as her secretary after Laura suggested she learn to type.
"She just evaporated." Laura told People magazine four years ago, in an interview in which she also described her mother as "filled with negativity.....She blamed everyone for her unhappiness." But back in 1984, Schlessinger explained the breach somewhat differently: "I retired my mother from my office," she said in a letter to Ballance. These days Schlessinger refuses to talk about her family at all, insisting that gossip is against her religion.
The subject of divorce sends Dr. Laura into public paroxysms of anger, but many listeners don't realize that she herself is divorced. She had no children in her brief, early marriage. "It was a mistake, and I corrected it," she says coldly. When she arrived in California in the mid-1970s, she was only separated; Ballance says he had been dating her for months before he discovered she had left a husband back East.
By then Laura had succeeded in launching a new career. One day, listening to Ballance's radio program, she had called in to answer the question "Would you rather be a widow or a divorcee?" A widow, she said, because then everyone feels sorry for you. Her wit was so quick, her repartee so ready, that Ballance, who is 29 years older, was enchanted. He says he met her the next day and they went to bed that very afternoon. ("That's not true," says Laura, who insists Ballance "was just mentoring me.") Ballance complains that their ensuing relationship has also been subject to Dr. Laura's penchant for revisionist history. "We went together for two goddamned solid, passionate, throbbing years, although she has now reduced that to a couple of lunches," he says sardonically. "We used to thrash around like a couple of crazed weasels. I used to call her Ku Klux, because she's a demon between the sheets. Dynamite!"
Schlessinger also turned out to be dynamite on the air. In her first major appearance, she started off badly, "with a faint, quivery voice and a lot of disclaimers, like 'I really haven't had a chance to give it much thought....'" Ballance reports. During a commercial break, he told Schlessinger she had to project more authority. "By the end, she'd practically taken over the show: 'Bill, let me handle this!'" he says, mimicking her brisk, I'm-in-charge voice.
At the time, Schlessinger was working in a lab at the University of Southern California next to Lew Bishop, a tenured neuro-physiology professor and father of three. They are vague about when their relationship began; first they insist Bishop was already divorced, but later Schlessinger concedes he had just separated. Friends have a different recollection. "Laura always used to complain about how they had to sneak around," says Ballance.
Dr. Laura is now a passionate opponent of pre-marital sex: she particularly disapproves of unwed couples "shacking up." But according to Shelly Herman, "Laura lived with Lew for about nine years before she was married to him." Schlessinger blames the influence of the 1960s for such lapses. "There are things I did that I wouldn't dream of doing now," she says. Nor was she interested in children back then: she had even undergone a tubal ligation. "I didn't want to have kids because my mission in life was to be very successful and brilliant at something," she says. But in her 30s she began to feel "a big empty space: something missing," she recalls. "I wasn't happy. I kept churning, not knowing what my problem was."
On her show, Schlessinger disparages would-be parents who insist on bearing biological offspring rather than adopting needy children. But after deciding she wanted a baby, she herself underwent protracted fertility treatments to conceive, enduring a traumatic ectopic pregnancy before getting pregnant with Deryk. Herman says that Schlessinger told her she was pregnant at her wedding, which Herman recalls as a particularly joyful because of the happy news. But Schlessinger adamantly denies that she conceived either pregnancy out of wedlock.
Her son inspired her best-known slogan, "I am my kid's mom."
"He is the most important thing in my life," says Schlessinger, who gave Deryk her own last name rather than her husband's. She believes fervently that mothers should care for their children rather than work outside the home. (Part-time work is O.K. after the kids are in school.) She claims she stayed home for 10 years after Deryk was born, although when I ask Bishop he says his wife returned to work when Deryk was "five or six."
By this time, Bishop had left U.S.C. for medical-technology sales. But he lost his job, and he and Schlessinger hit hard times. When I ask him about that period, he tears up, then turns his head away in embarrassment. "Six years ago, our house was in foreclosure," he says, staring at the floor. "We had no money. We were in terrible trouble."
The family's problems were compounded when Bishop nearly died after cardiac arrest. Schlessinger took the blow badly. In the hospital, she tells me, "I was down on my knees in the hall, screaming in terror and anguish." But much of her concern seemed to be for herself. "She would say, 'What am I going to do?' It was all 'I, I, I,'" says Herman.
Then Schlessinger began to suffer incapacitating panic attacks - "terror and pounding and thinking I'm going to die," she says. These included a dramatic episode moments before airtime. "She actually had a nervous breakdown right in front of all of us, " marvels a former colleague. "She got in an argument with her screener, and all of a sudden she was down on the ground vibrating like a carp out of water." Schlessinger was taken out on a stretcher by paramedics.
Her husband has recovered, thanks to a sextuple bypass and a defibrillator, but he and Schlessinger never talk about his heart. "It scares me too much," she says in a small voice.
Schlessinger's reliance on her husband is the flip side of her aggressive displays of strength. "She's totally dependent on Lew for validation," says Herman. Tall, bearded, and bespectacled, Bishop looks like his wife's opposite, but he seems equally dependent. "Lew became the wife; Laura became the breadwinner," Herman explains. "I think Lew is so blindly devoted to her that he has completely lost his sense of self. Lew has morphed into Laura."
Bishop no longer has an independent career; he and Schlessinger decided several years ago that he would manage hers instead. Deryk often went along for the ride, even when his mother worked the late shift. "You'd have to dodge him in the hallways; he was always running around the station unsupervised," reports Laurie Sanders, whose show ran from 6 to 10 P.M. at Los Angeles's KOST, while Dr. Laura took the 9-to-midnight shift at its sister station, KFI, housed in the same building. "One night I was on the air and Deryk ran into the studio with another child and screamed and laughed at the top of his lungs. I called my program director and said, 'This has got to stop.'"
Schlessinger was livid. "From that point on she ignored me," says Sanders. "When I was released from the station, allegedly because of budget cuts, she ran around overjoyed, singing, 'Ding, dong, the witch is dead!' She just reveled in the fact that I was let go."
When asked about Sanders, Laura claims not to know who she is, and says she "would never rejoice in anybody else's pain." But another staffer remembers the "ding, dong" comment, too: "She said it to me."
Sanders doesn't know whether Schlessinger had anything to do with her termination, but other women have found her a formidable enemy. "Any woman she came in contact with, she would view as a threat," says Shelly Herman, adding that on-air personalities were at particular risk. "Tracey Miller, Marilyn Kagan, Barbara De Angelis, Mother Love - she systematically set out to destroy each of these women. She was the most vengeful, evil person. She had me making calls, trying to find out things about these people. Now she's against gossiping, but she was very much in that trap of finding out things about her colleagues and using the information to undermine them. She would go to management: 'How can this person be giving advice - they're not a therapist!'" Herman sighs. "At the time, I didn't realize that Laura's doctorate was from a biological science rather than a behavioral science."
Schlessinger denies having tried to undermine her rivals, but she admits that when she worked nights at KFI, she coveted the noontime slot held by Barbara De Angelis, who had a doctorate in psychology from Columbia Pacific University. De Angelis, whose call-in show was highly rated in Los Angeles, was already a best-selling author, and at first Schlessinger cultivated her. "She called me and said she wanted to write a book. That was the last time we ever spoke."
"Laura found out that Dr. De Angelis was not a doctor," says Tracey Miller, who is now at KLSX in Los Angeles. "She informed the entire building." Laurie Sanders adds, "She was always bad-mouthing Barbara. To go out and discredit someone to get what you want - is that ethical? She was always looking at it like 'This should be mine - and I will do whatever it takes to make it mine.'"
Colleagues were appalled by Schlessinger's tactics. "If you're the best, earn the job - don't go digging up dirt," says one. (Schlessinger denies asking De Angelis how to write a book, but admits she complained to KFI management about the other woman's credentials.)
De Angelis ended up leaving KFI, but her problems weren't over. "The California state board is very strict about who can call themselves 'doctor,'" De Angelis explains. The board contacted me and said, 'Unless you have a clinical license you can't use "doctor'" They said they had a complaint, but they wouldn't tell me from whom. I haven't used 'doctor' since." (Schlessinger says she did not file the complaint.)
Schlessinger also allegedly targeted Marilyn Kagan, a psychoanalytic psychotherapist who inherited Dr. Laura's time slot when Schlessinger replaced De Angelis at noon. "When I first got there she was saying, 'Well, finally we have a real therapist! Marilyn really knows what she's doing,'" recalls Kagan. "She befriended me; she would call me every day. People at the radio station were saying, 'Just be careful. Watch your back.'"
Kagan confided to Laura that she was undergoing fertility treatments. Then a co-worker informed her, "Laura went to your boss and told him you're very ill, that you were going through lots of things that would put you in the hospital, and that you'd be out a lot," Kagan reports. "Laura had a guy she told them they should replace me with; she's less threatened by men. I went to my boss and he said, 'Don't worry about it.'" David Hall, her former boss, is still program director at KFI, which carries Schlessinger's show. Asked about the incident, he says, "I don't remember."
But from then on, Schlessinger was a declared enemy. "Everything I would say, she would put me down on the radio or challenge me," says Kagan, who now appears on KCBS-TV in Los Angeles. "She would constantly zing me and berate me on the air. She has said really horrible things about me; she slanders me right and left." Although other co-workers remember such comments, Laura denies attacking Kagan: "What a lying bitch," she says angrily.
Kagan adds, "The sickest thing about Laura is how she ingratiates herself to you, with a plan: If I kick your ass, then I can stab you in the back. The minute she didn't need people anymore, she would shit on them. She is such an evil, vicious human being. This woman is very ill; her envy is so perverse. I can't believe how she hurts people. I guess even $71.5 million doesn't heal a wounded psyche."
Schlessinger attributes such accusations to envy of her success. The problem with that explanation is that so many people disliked her before she ever became rich or famous. "Even before she was a star, she had the attitude that 'the rules don't apply to me,'" says one former colleague.
Dr. Laura is not pleased that I have asked her if she is being hypocritical. "I live my values," she says, and offers one of her favorite quotes: "A hypocrite is somebody who says, 'Do as I say, not as I do.' A teacher is someone who says, 'Do as I do, not as I did.'" She admits there are "things I regret and have shame for." But she is not about to enumerate them. "With the mindset I have now, There are certain things I would not have done." she says evenly. "I am repentant; I have moved on; I see no reason to embarrass myself."
Particularly now, when things are going so well. After 22 years of bouncing from one radio station to another, after all the shows when her husband and Shelly Herman had to call Dr. Laura with fake problems because nobody was calling in with real ones, she now has her own, custom-designed studio and can buy a Mercedes whenever she wants. She attributes her success to her own enlightenment. "This show parallels my personal growth: it evolved as I evolved," she says.
Petty quibbles about her own life merely serve to distract from her crusade to change the world, a task she believes she is accomplishing. In front of her new, California Mission-style house is an exclusive gated community in the San Fernando Valley, her husband has placed a sign that alludes to Schlessinger's lofty goals: ON A MISSION, it says.
I am getting people to stop doing wrong and start doing right," she says.
Schlessinger may not be calling herself a prophet these days, but "rabbi" will do. "Rabbi means teacher; I am one," she says. She ignores the fact that Orthodox Judaism doesn't permit women rabbis, and insists that the strictures Orthodoxy imposes on women are not sexist. "The clarity of the roles is wonderful," she says. (Several days later, I turn on the radio and hear her ridiculing my "ignorance" for asking about the concerns of Jewish women who believe that Orthodox Judaism is sexist.)
Schlessinger doesn't like it when you don't agree with her. One day I question her interpretation of an on-air exchange. Her green eyes blaze. "You missed the point again," she says. "That's the difference between a civilian and me. Listening to the pieces of the puzzle, we're not equal. Sorry; that's not arrogance, that's just a fact."
Her admirers ascribe her certitude to divine providence. "I think her show is one of God's blessings," says Patti Edwards, who became a friend when she persuaded Schlessinger to be honored by Childhelp U.S.A., a charity Edwards supports.
"To call her America's conscience is not an exaggeration," says Reuven Bulka, an Orthodox rabbi from Ottawa, Canada, who has become Schlessinger's latest spiritual adviser.
But many mental-health professionals doubt whether her obey-me approach is truly constructive. "A good psychotherapist helps people find their own answers," says Salvatore Maddi, a professor of psychology and social behavior at the University of Southern California at Irvine. "Basically Dr. Laura is about: I'm right, everyone else is wrong. The hostility behind that is very tangible in the way she interacts with everyone. The more followers she gets, the more she's sure she's right. She needs very much to be in control."
And her acolytes arc are happy to hand over the reins. "A lot of people feel overwhelmed," Maddi explains. "People want there to be simple right-and-wrong answers: 'Spank me some more, Mama, and I'll do whatever you want!'"
It seems to be a surefire formula; the money is rolling in. In addition to Schlessinger's books, audiotapes, and videos, there is a magazine, a new line of gifts and collectibles, and the Dr. Laura Collection of clothing. Never shy about merchandising - she used to have Deryk read on-air commercials - she now hawks an "I am my kid's dad" tie in two styles, the conventional boardroom version and the showbiz one. She has formed her own production company and written a children's book. And Ten Commandments goes on sale September 9, she reminds her listeners.
But all this activity is not about the money, she assures me. She loves to quote the Bible, and one day she tells me about the time she read the words "You shall be unto me a nation of priests." "I stopped dead," she says. "So the point is that, by virtue of what I do and how I live, I give evidence of God's presence on earth! That was the deal at Sinai: that was the job given to the Jews!"
She tilts her head back and closes her eyes beautifically, as if basking in an invisible light.
"I like having a job." says Dr. Laura.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Randi Rhodes 'Hallowed Ground for Strippers'

President Obama has come out supporting the right to build the mosque in Lower Manhattan. In other words, the President of the United States supports the First Amendment. That shouldn’t be news, but it is. What has this country come to when a something like this is open to debate? Well, it’s not really open to debate. It’s open to nutjobs hurling accusations, epithets and spreading intolerance.
Newt Gingrich said “Nazis don’t have the right to put up a sign next to the Holocaust Museum in Washington. We would never accept the Japanese putting up a site next to Pearl Harbor.” And As long as we’re making analogies to past conflicts, Newt—do you think we should accept the losing side of the Civil War declaring a Confederate History Month? Rush Limbaugh says liberals will allow mosques near Ground Zero but not Walmarts. As far as I know, no Muslims have ever driven wages down and fought against workers’ rights to unionize. Build a mosque and people will have a place to practice their religion. Build a Walmart and those small businesses that Republicans supposedly care about will be driven out of business.
Opponents of the mosque keep talking about “hallowed ground.” The neighborhood around Ground Zero includes strip clubs, off-track betting parlors, and every imaginable kind of fast food and tacky New York souvenir shop (photos). If this is “hallowed ground” then Coney Island is a religious retreat. There’s a strip club called New York Dolls that’s as close to Ground Zero as the proposed mosque. (Can I point out that New York Dolls has to be the worst name for a strip club ever, at least for people who remember the band the New York Dolls?) Why does the First Amendment right to free speech apply to strippers, but the First Amendment’s freedom of religion clause doesn’t apply to the mosque? If the Muslims who have proposed the mosque are willing to accept a strip club in the neighborhood, who is anyone else to object to the mosque? Republicans are being more intolerant of religion than Muslim clergymen are of strippers. I’m sure when the people trying to build the mosque looked at the strip club, they just thought “Well, they have every right to be here.” Unfortunately, nobody from the rightwing ever seems to realize that about the mosque.
Today’s Homework Discuss
Here's just one example of the businesses that are the same distance from Ground Zero as the proposed Islamic community center (click for more):

Saturday, August 14, 2010

The Best way to De-Flea your Creatures!

I am Now De-Fleaing my Creatures & House using ONLY Herbal Remedies -I just found out that those drops you get at Most Stores, the ones you put on their neck once a month, Poisons your Creatures Blood -it does not kill or even scare off Fleas -the Fleas have to 1st Bite your Creature -then if the flea eats enuff of your creatures poisoned Blood -Only that will kill that One Flea -Poison is NOT good for your pet - some pets can die from it - it is not safe to use around other pets (like birds) and it is not safe to use around other people, especially babies. Besides, that Poison doesn`t scare off the Fleas at all, it ONLY kills one at a time ONLY after it BITES your Pets POISONED Blood!! Herbal not only Scares off Fleas -but Kills them without Poisoning your pet -Herbal also is safe to use around other animals and people and it Smells Really Good!!
They have Herbal Flea Medicine in Powder, Sprays & Collar form. You can find Herbal Pet Care at Pet Stores, Whole Foods and Online.....just Google Herbal Flea Remedies.
Here is to a Flea Free, Safe Healthy Pet/Family, Good Smelling World!
oxox Stacy

Friday, August 13, 2010

Randi Rhodes: Game of Chicken

It's Friday, ya bastids!
A new poll shows that the Republican Party has become mostly a regional Southern white party. They needed a poll to tell us that? All you have to do is listen to the accents. I think it’s been years since I’ve heard the word “socialism” uttered without a Southern accent. Well, it looks like the GOP’s “Southern Strategy” has worked too well. It wasn’t supposed to be a “Southern Only Strategy.” Basically, the only places where Republicans have succeeded are places that seceded.
There’s a game of chicken coming over the vote in Congress to extend Bush’s tax cuts for the rich. Well, since the tax cuts are for the very wealthiest, it’s less a game of chicken and more a game of veal medallions in a cognac sauce with a side of squash puree. Tax cuts for the rich do nothing to stimulate the economy because the wealthy don’t spend the money. If youth is wasted on the young, then money is definitely wasted on the rich. But then Republicans don’t want to give money to the rich to stimulate the economy. They want to give money to the rich to stimulate the rich.
Finally, Dr. Laura went on a rant saying the “n-word” 11 times in five minutes. Was she trying to break some kind of record? And who owns that record—David Duke? Dr. Laura said “Turn on HBO, listen to a black comic, and all you hear is n****r, n****r, n****r.” And for those of you who don’t get HBO, all you have to do is listen to Dr. Laura, evidently. Thanks, Dr. Laura, you just saved some of your viewers an extra $19.95 per month on their cable bill for HBO. But they still won’t get True Blood. OK, maybe there are black comics on HBO who use the n-word. But let’s make a deal, Dr. Laura—you agree not to use the n-word, and Chris Rock will agree not to give bad relationship advice. 11 n-words in under five minutes! I don’t know if Dr. Laura should be giving relationship advice. Maybe she should be giving advice on something else… like dealing with Tourette syndrome. Dr. Laura later apologized for the outburst. OK, Dr. Laura, the apology was a nice start. Now can we get 11 apologies in under five minutes? In her apology Dr. Laura said she “was attempting to make a philosophical point.” Really? I’ve read a few philosophers, and I don’t remember a lot of use of the n-word. I just leafed through Friedrich Nietzsche’s “Thus Spake Zarathustra,” and as far as I can tell Zarathustra never spake that word.
Today’s Homework Discuss
Rep. Louis Gohmert (R-TX) has a “terror baby” meltdown on Anderson Cooper last night:

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Randi Rhodes: Summer of Hate

Happy Ramadan! I hope I can say that without getting banned from lower Manhattan for life. There are some restaurants in TriBeCa that I really like. President Obama has wished Muslims all over the world a happy Ramadan. The nice thing about this is that it helps in our relations with 1.5 billion people around the world. The fact that it drives conservatives into fits is just an added bonus. Luckily a lot of the nutjobs who would flip out over that don’t know what Ramadan is. They probably think it’s a chain of hotels.Of course the rightwing is already going nuts over the plans for a mosque in Lower Manhattan. Now Newt Gingrich says he has no problem with a mosque… if it’s near Central Park or near Columbia University. Is the borderline for religious freedom now 57th Street? But Newt, above 57th Street you run into different problems with mosque construction. People pay big bucks for those views of Central Park. They’re not going to want a minaret to get in the way.
When they’re not attacking the First Amendment, Republicans are still busy going after the 14th Amendment. Now Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty has joined the discordant chorus calling for change to the 14th Amendment. Does Minnesota have a lot to fear from Mexican immigrants crossing the border to have babies? Not unless they’re crossing the Canadian border. Pawlenty is also calling for Minnesota to make English its official language. Really, why stop there? Why not force everybody to talk with that Midwestern accent? And from now on, everyone must refer to a couch as a davenport, and call a water fountain a bubbler. Finally, if you listen to the show, you know Arizona Governor Jan Brewer is a big fan of using private prisons. Recently three violent criminals escaped from one of Jan’s corporate cabooses. They cut a hole in the fence! And Brewer is always complaining about the federal government and border security. How can they complain about keeping immigrants out of the country when they can’t even keep killers behind bars? Here’s an idea, Jan—let the federal government handle border security. You just try and keep the murderers from cutting holes in fences.

Ex-FBI official debunks the heck out of the bogus ‘terror babies’ threat:

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Randi Rhodes 'Base Biting'

White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs recently had some harsh words for the “professional left.” Is there really a professional left? If anybody starts making real money as a leftist, they automatically shift to the right. “Hey, between appearing on MSNBC and writing for Mother Jones, I made over $200,000 last year. Maybe tax cuts for the rich aren’t such a bad idea after all…” Should the White House be concerned about criticism from the left when the right is so over the top? There’s a difference between saying “Obama could be doing a better job” and “Obama is a socialist commie Muslim.” The left is telling Obama to go further. The right is telling Obama to go to Hell. Everybody needs to chill. And you have to expect harsh criticism from those closest to you, Robert Gibbs. Haven’t you ever been to a family Thanksgiving?
Fed-up former JetBlue flight attendant Steven Slater has posted bail and left jail, though for this exit there was no slide to deploy. Slater hired a car to take him home. If I were the driver, I’d be a little nervous that Steven would try to deploy the airbags. At least this exit was on better terms. As Slater was released, employees leaving the prison were shouting “You’re a hero. You’re a celebrity.” They were impressed! And this being New York, I imagine those prison employees have dealt with their share of celebrities. But I don’t know if I want prison employees imitating Steven Slater. They can’t “deploy the slide.” What do they do when they get fed up and quit? “Open the bars”? “That’s it! I’m outta here! And so is everybody on Rikers Island!” Meanwhile, his Facebook fans are demanding that Slater get his job back. Is that a good idea? I think some people on his flights would deliberately push him in the hopes of getting to see him “pop the chute.” Steven Slater would become a human “test your skill” game. See if you can make the flight attendant crack! Free slide rides if you do!
Newt Gingrich’s second wife says he asked her to marry him before he told his first wife, and that he didn’t tell her before asking his third wife to marry him. Confused? I think at this point even Newt Gingrich is. Newt Gingrich has had a lot of wives. No wonder he has trouble keeping them straight. This guy has wives the way John McCain has houses.
Today’s Homework Discuss
In honor of Steven Slater, here's some classic office rage from YouTube:

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Randi Rhodes Newsletter 'He`s Mad as Hell'

He’s mad as hell and he’s not going to take it any more! He will, however, take a couple of those beers, thank you very much. If you haven’t heard, a JetBlue flight attendant exited a plane and his job by deploying the parked plane’s inflatable emergency slide after an altercation with an unruly passenger. After the passenger cursed him out, flight attendant Steven Slater announced he was quitting over the plane’s PA system, grabbed a couple of beers, deployed the emergency slide, and slid down it into folk immortality. Now Slater is becoming a hero, with several Facebook pages devoted to him already. As working class folk-heroes go, he’s not exactly Joe Hill, but you take what you can get. Still, I don’t think it would make a very convincing Woody Guthrie song. Before sliding away, Slater got on the plane’s PA and said “To the passenger who just called me a motherf---er, f--- you. I’ve been in this business 28 years, and I’ve had it.” So close! It would have been absolutely perfect if he had added “And thank you for flying with JetBlue.” A lot of us wish we could do what Steven Slater did. Especially the part about grabbing the beers. It’s nice to go out with a bang. And it’s even better to go out with a bang and a beer. Columnist Joanna Molloy said “it’s part of the frustration all over the country as employees take pay cuts and have to do double the workload as they take on the responsibilities of their laid-off co-workers.” In other words, a lot of us are one incident away from “deploying the slide.”
For a look at what awaits those who manage to stick it out at their jobs, the latest boogey man for conservatives are public employees with decent pensions. That’s right. The right wing wants you to believe that all your problems are due to elderly ex-firefighters. They’re worse than anchor babies! At least they’re giving us a choice of scapegoats. Get real. Retired public employees aren’t getting more than they deserve. They’re just getting what everybody deserves. The right won’t be happy until all public employees are treated as badly as most private employees. They don’t want a firefighter treated any better than a fast-food worker. Personally, I don’t want the person putting out the fire at my house to be as beaten-down and dispirited as the person preparing my burger and fries. We have a lot to do to give justice to the American worker. As a start, I suggest that every job should provide an inflatable slide exi t for employees who just can’t take it any more.>>> MORE