Why Admiral Rickover would not like Fox News
Fox News fans: A wise businessman once said that his best customers, and the ones he appreciated the most, were those who criticized his products and services because that gave him a chance to improve; his worst customers were the ones too apathetic to complain.
Why conservatives should loathe Fox News: because it is dedicated to rehashing mediocre inside-the-box ideas delivered by attractive people either oblivious to how the policies they espouse are destroying the middle class, or fully aware of that but happy to be mouthpieces of the establishment they work for. In a rare moment of unvarnished truth, someone on Fox News finally revealed why America is crumbling:
“We've now learned the devastation of the American middle class because of the World Trade Organization and China—how they game the system, we've lost millions of jobs. There's no doubt about it, that globalism of the Bush variety [that every recent President also supported] has been devastating to American workers. … The establishment has failed the people.”
— Conservative Laura Ingraham on Fox News (2-9-2016)
With Laura Ingraham being staunchly conservative, and Fox News being less “fair and balanced” than cheerleaders for establishment Republicans like the Bushes, that's really saying something. She brilliantly framed this issue not as Republican versus Democrat, but as the middle class versus those who seek to destroy it: the globalists who fed like parasites off the middle class, draining their money and dashing their dreams so the fat cats in the top 1% can get even richer—and they are, now controlling half the world's wealth with no end in sight to their plunder. The über-rich learned that by controlling politicians, they control the world so they can take more of it, leaving 99% of us to fight for the leftovers. Being smart, they control both Republicans and Democrats, so no matter who wins, they win, and the middle class loses.
Americans are smart, but not when it comes to voting. If we chose as wisely as we think we do, after decades of voting for politicians who sound so wonderful, they would have gone to Washington and actually improved things instead of devastating the middle class.
“Great minds discuss ideas, average minds discuss events, small minds discuss people.”
— Admiral Hyman G. Rickover, quoting someone he termed an "unknown sage" in The Saturday Evening Post article "The World of the Uneducated" (November 28, 1959)
Irrespective of his political affinity, Admiral Rickover wouldn't think much of Fox News because they fritter away their time — and ours — focusing on people and events, rarely ideas. While it is sometimes necessary to mention people and events in discussing ideas, what Fox News does in this regard is analogous to what a child might do when his parents are away for the weekend: gorge on candy and snacks, leaving no room for nourishing food. In the 24 hours of broadcast time they have each day, Fox News manages to fill it with superficial discussions largely devoid of intellectual nourishment, thus figuratively gorging on what's tasty leaving no room for what's beneficial. Merely reporting the news is not the ideal venue for airing ideas, but Fox News is less news than opinions made more palatable by melding them with a bleached blonde T&A show of pulchritude.
The attractive expert syndrome statistically guarantees that when people (in this case, applicants for Fox News) are selected on the basis of their appearance, the chosen ones will not have the best minds. With the laws of statistics being as insurmountable as the laws of physics (some of which are based on statistics and the virtual impossibility of escaping them), the foxes on Fox are inevitably not as bright as possible. Alas, few people are smart enough to see that eye candy carries a hidden price tag, which we pay for by being deprived of the better minds and their better ideas.
The Fox News affinity for attractive people is also evident in their selection of guests and experts. With 50% of the population being below average in appearance, and with virtually none of those folks appearing on Fox News, FNC evidently thinks they aren't worth listening to. The Fox brainiacs think they're doing their viewers a favor by silencing the majority of the population Fox deems not foxy enough, but that group inevitably includes individuals who are brighter and more interesting. Fox News isn't interested in first-rate brains and the ideas they generate; to them, appearance is paramount.
Stated another way, Fox News discriminates against people who aren't attractive. Since being on Fox can make the difference between succeeding and going nowhere, FNC is happy to sweep people aside and relegate them and their ideas to obscurity if they didn't win life's lottery of looks.
For example, on April 16, 2012, Bill O'Reilly interviewed Katie Pavlich, author of Fast and Furious: Barack Obama's Bloodiest Scandal and the Shameless Cover-Up, even though he clearly was not impressed by the book or convinced that Pavlich had a smoking gun that made her case. So why give her so much airtime on various Fox News programs? Because she looks like an especially yummy Miss America.
Does Fox News prefer beauty or brains?
Pavlich is impressively intelligent, but even smarter people with better ideas are not given a second on Fox. She fits the narrow Republican mold and passes their litmus test of acceptability, so she gets on Fox not because she is a genius with unique bright ideas to save America, but because she is a fox.
Her Facebook profile says she appeared “in a commercial for Remington firearms,” is the news editor for Townhall.com and contributing editor for Townhall Magazine, is a weekly guest on the Jon Justice show, appears on Fox Business and Fox News, yet she graduated from college in 2010, less than two years ago. An Amazon reviewer stated that she “was an undistinguished student at the University of Arizona,” yet propelled by her appearance, she rocketed ahead of others with better ideas who could do more to help all Americans. Pavlich said “I really dislike Leftists,” as I once did incandescently, but she obviously reveres God, who likely doesn't discriminate based on political ideology or think much of those who do.
Given the polarization in America, with some very good people having very different political ideas, wouldn't it make more sense to favor policies that help all Americans? That is possible, as I proved, and ultimately better for our nation and everyone in it, but partisans want only their side to win, which perpetuates an unwinnable war.
For proof that war is unwinnable, just look at what fighting it has done to the United States. It was seemingly destined to be the world's indomitable economic superpower in perpetuity, but our leaders inflicted considerably more damage upon our future than all of our past and present enemies combined, including Japan and Germany in World War II, the USSR during the Cold War, Islamic terrorists, and everyone convicted of treason in U.S. history. All of those enemies combined couldn't begin to deliver the KO blow that our liberal and conservative politicians have given to present and future Americans. Now even mainstream people, such as Senator Judd Gregg (R-NH), think we're on the fast track to becoming a banana republic.
“Only Americans can hurt America.”
— Dwight D. Eisenhower
I once would have strongly agreed with Katie that conservatives could win the war if they could just punch a bit harder. However, Americans have such an obsession with appearance that they vote for Ken and Barbie dolls with Pepsodent smiles but not Mensa brains or ideas generated from them.
Republicans are evidently thrilled with their latest Ken doll, Mitt Romney, who claims he will cut tax rates but pay for them by eliminating some deductions, such as those “for state income taxes and state property taxes,” along with many others—unless Romney invents a new form of math. And how to connect all of his miraculous promises with reality? Romney isn't saying because he is still thinking. Prediction: He will be just another typical American politician: someone who excites us before disappointing and betraying us with deliberate chicanery. Their bright ideas from the Catfood Commission to Pull the Plug on Grandma don't add up to the kind of solution we need: one that helps all Americans.
However, Fox News doesn't want solutions; it wants heated rhetoric and Left-versus-Right fighting that ignites emotions in viewers so they stay glued to their television sets. Fox gives us foxes like Katie Pavlich to trigger other emotions that also will do nothing to help save our country. The secret to the success of Fox News is not the secret to American success—but Fox News doesn't care, and most of their viewers don't get it. They fooled me for years until my most conservative friend convinced me it was foolish to buy what Fox News is selling.
Think about it: If Fox News, Rush Limbaugh, and Sean Hannity succeeded in molding America into the kind of nation they think it should be, they must believe that people would be very pleased by how things are—so pleased they would find 1001 other things to do than tune into them and their daily bitch sessions, the fodder for which would evaporate once they got their way. However, Limbaugh, Hannity, and other Fox News hosts have made a mint selling unwinnable solutions that pull the wool over the eyes of their fans. They're either stupid enough to think that continuing to fight the Left-versus-Right battle will be enough to halt our economic death spiral, or they've outfoxed their fans and are cashing in by giving them false hope. Just keep doing what Republicans have always done, and it'll save us. Dream on!
“Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.”
— Albert Einstein
Many Fox News stars profess to love God, yet they rabidly support the War on Terror even though it has killed and injured many more innocent civilians, including children (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6), than were harmed by 9-11 and all other instances of domestic terrorism in the United States—ever. The innocent death ratio of foreigners to Americans is staggering and unconscionable. It's not an eye for an eye; it is truckloads of them for one American. For an eye-opening look into the soul of our bloodthirsty leaders, consider what Ilana Mercer wrote about the casualties of the Iraq war. Article: Psychologists Say 'Group Narcissism' Linked to Negative Attitudes Toward Immigrants. Group narcissism may also explain how the War on Terror has become an endless killing spree that didn't stop after the USA killed 3000 innocent people.
If a killer or would-be killer were loose in your town, how would you feel about a sheriff who stopped him by shooting dozens or even hundreds of innocent people, including women and children? You would be outraged, remove him from power, and let him rot in prison, where he belongs. Inexplicably, most Americans cannot see the parallel between the bloodthirsty sheriff and our bloodthirsty leaders.
Underlying this moral blindness is an arrogant assumption that Americans are more valuable than others. Former President Jimmy Carter said the United States is guilty of “widespread abuse of human rights” because “our government's counterterrorism policies are now clearly violating at least 10 of the … 30 articles” in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
One of many examples: “members of an Army platoon … killed at least three unarmed Afghan civilians, apparently for sport … [because] they were bored. … [Their sergeant] allegedly began bragging about murders he had gotten away during an earlier stint in Iraq. … he shot people and then planted weapons like grenades that he had obtained "off the books" on his victims. … [He] took fingers as trophies—with the ultimate goal of making a "bone necklace." … One soldier says that killings like this happen all the time, "We’re just the ones that got caught."”
Commenting on that, Chris wrote, “I met this guy the other day through a mutual friend and he started telling me what they did in Iraq and how they used to shoot at unarmed civilians.” Chris mentioned other atrocities, then wisely said something overpaid Fox and other journalists don't get: “We'll hear about Boston [Marathon bombings] for at least another month. We don't call our wrongdoings Christian terrorism. If informed citizens start reading on their own, they would understand why we are in trouble and why they hate us.”
The Mahmudiyah killings were “the gang-rape and killing of [a] 14-year-old Iraqi girl Abeer Qassim Hamza al-Janabi by the United States Army soldiers on March 12, 2006, and the murder of her family”—her mother, father, and six-year-old sister. “After the rape the lower part of Abeer’s body, from her stomach down to her feet, was set on fire.”
Three weeks before the murder and rape in which soldiers “took turns,” one of the perpetrators said, “Over here, killing people is like squashing an ant. I mean, you kill somebody and it's like 'All right, let's go get some pizza.' "”
Yes, I know: Americans don't commit such heinous acts every day, but neither do Islamic terrorists. The Mahmudiyah killings were widely publicized, but the American media, in cahoots with the government, does a great job of making the USA and its allies seem better than they really are. Great Britain was founded on, and continues to perpetuate, the principle that might makes right.
Ditto for the United States that achieved power by crushing Native Americans. Throughout history, British evil easily surpasses what al Qaeda has done. Ditto for the United States. If you disagree, you don't know what the U.S. did to Native Americans and others around the world. Americans who think the USA is as pure as the wind-driven snow are getting a small taste of the medicine our leaders dish out. They lesson they inculcate, similar to the lesson the British taught, is, “We'll let you live if you don't protest too much about how much we're stealing from you.” In the years to come, Americans will learn that lesson very well.
Then there is our World War II ally, the Soviet Union, whose soldiers did things the U.S. government helped cover up, such as myriad rapes of girls, women, pregnant women, and Catholic nuns. But wait, there's more. Ever hear of The Horror at Neustettin in which 500 German women were butchered by having their breasts and other body parts cut off? Probably not, because until recently the U.S. hushed up that Soviet crime. I wrote about that years before our mainstream media did because it didn't fit their narrative.
“The truth will set you free, but first it will piss you off.”
— Gloria Steinem
“The best education will not immunize a person against corruption by power. The best education does not automatically make people compassionate. We know this more clearly than any preceding generation. Our time has seen the best-educated society, situated in the heart of the most civilized part of the world, give birth to the most murderously vengeful government in history.
Forty years ago the philosopher Alfred North Whitehead thought it self-evident that you would get a good government if you took power out of the hands of the acquisitive and gave it to the learned and the cultivated. At present, a child in kindergarten knows better than that.”
— Eric Hoffer in Before the Sabbath
The Gulf Wars of 1991 and 2003 left radioactive depleted uranium (commonly used in military armor plating and armor-piercing projectiles) in Iraq, resulting in “dramatically increasing rates of childhood cancers and birth defects”—every parent's worst nightmare. Bush fans would lose their affinity if they had depleted uranium contaminating their towns and poisoning their kids.
We must fight terrorism, but there's a smart, moral, and economical outside-the-box way to do it that evidently hasn't occurred to people who put more value on how people look than the ideas they generate. That fixation on appearance and conformity—tacit but obviously central tenets of Republicanism—has a staggering price tag in dollars and human suffering, with the latter so wickedly heinous no one can possibly justify it. That war is helping bankrupt the United States, which will silence the guns of its military. A country that believes God is on its side (as if!) and is helping to steer its course will have difficulty explaining why God would permit the USA to have economic problems that surely will devastate our military strength. Perhaps God is tiring of a nation that can only get along in the world by slaughtering many innocent people.
“In spite of all the extraordinary technological progress that has taken place since disruptive innovation theory was first posited in 1997 (Innovator’s Dilemma, Christensen) certain domains have proved to be quite resistant or slow to adopt change. We have observed that these slow-to-change domains such as education, healthcare, religion, conflict resolution, the environment, politics and the military to name a few represent some of the most critical areas waiting to be disrupted. It is these areas that innovation will be most necessary to meet the societal challenges of the 21st century.”
— Disruptive Innovation Theory Revisited: Christensen, Hatkoff & Kula
Thomas Edison said, “There's a way to do it better — find it,” but Americans are too busy gawking at babes like Katie Pavlich and other eye candy on Facebook and elsewhere who post things similar to what others do yet have legions of enthusiastic followers who are enamored with their appearance, not ideas. I performed observational and controlled studies to prove that Americans flock to hot babes with or without hot ideas, but Plain Janes with hot ideas are ignored by almost everyone. This isn't an intellectual meritocracy where the cream rises to the top; it's a symptom of a culture with bizarre priorities. Looks matter. Brains and ideas don't.
Republicans flock around Ken and Barbie dolls, yet wonder why Republican policies are not a sufficient antidote to those from Democrats. Mystery solved.
Keep in mind this criticism of Republicans comes from someone who once was a staunch conservative Republican who initially supported George W. Bush even though Al Gore invited me to a party at his official residence when he was Vice President—a retirement party for one of his aides and a friend of mine who said he loved to read my first book, Fascinating Health Secrets, when he was on Air Force Two.
Gore's intellect would likely have kept him from making the mistakes made by Bush 43. However, the American affinity for style over substance kept even many liberals from realizing that the deep-thinking Gore was a better presidential choice than Bush, whose forte was something other than thinking. My friend, who sat in on meetings with Bill Clinton and Gore in the White House, said Gore was clearly the more intelligent of the two. Clinton succeeded politically because he was a master at Machiavellian scheming, but other than that (which changes how the pie is carved but not its size), is there any evidence that Clinton had a single brilliant idea?
Warmonger neocons think the path to peace and prosperity is paved with bombs and bullets. When I find time I'll write a song What a Neocon Believes, sung to the tune of What a Fool Believes. The disasters created by neocon Fool-in-Chief George W. Bush are classic examples of what happens when someone has considerably more power than brainpower. Genuine intellect coupled with wisdom immunizes people from falling for neoconservatism. Fox News is teeming with neoconservatives. What does that tell you?
The United States spent trillions of dollars fighting terrorism (see Time magazine's The $5 Trillion War on Terror), but its inside-the-box response isn't working well, as evidenced by the Boston Marathon bombings, the recipe for which is:
- Two nuts with a screw loose and an axe to grind
- Pressure cookers
- BBs or ball bearings
- Gunpowder, likely from fireworks
- Parts from a remote control toy car to detonate the bomb
We can't ban such common items. Even if we could, there are countless alternatives, such as electricity from the sun or a wall outlet that can turn ordinary water into an explosive gas.
We could spend every penny earned by every American every year and still not be safe; one terrorist, acting alone, could make and plant dozens of bombs per day. It wouldn't be difficult to make a machine that automates bomb production so they're made even when the terrorist is sleeping, misreading the Koran, getting kicked out of a mosque, or beating up his girlfriend.
So why are we bankrupting the United States in a futile attempt to block terrorism? Why can't Fox News ask that question instead of lavishing rah-rah support on our military? We could achieve necessary goals at much less cost (in dollars and human suffering) to both sides and often innocent bystanders, but generals favor military expansion, not clever thinking that would obviate the need for their horrendously inefficient means of combating terrorism. They're too busy behaving like teenage boys in heat to think long enough to find alternatives they could suggest to the President.
We likely hear about only a small fraction of their shenanigans, but in recent months we learned of General David Petraeus bedding embedded journalist Paula Broadwell, with that affair triggering yet another scandal involving a foxy socialite (Jill Kelley) that reportedly led to “20,000 to 30,000 pages of emails and other documents” suggesting that General John Allen has too much time on his hands and doesn't know why we're paying him. Generals should spend their time strategizing the most efficient ways to fight wars, not wasting time on gorgeous women young enough to be their daughters.
Brigadier General Jeffrey Sinclair was “charged with forcible sodomy and having inappropriate relationships with several female subordinates. … [He] faces possible courts martial on charges that include forced sex, wrongful sexual conduct, violating an order, possessing pornography and alcohol while deployed, and misusing a government travel charge card and filing fraudulent claims [and] multiple counts of adultery.” A female captain said “Sinclair forced her to have sex,” told “her when and where she could use the bathroom,” and “later threatened to kill her and her family if she told anyone.”
Conclusion? Fox News can't see the forest through the trees.
Fox News has many smart, eloquent foxes such as Andrea Tantaros, Mary Katharine Ham, and Kimberly Guilfoyle, but despite their brainpower, their silver tongues have never uttered a single valuable new idea; they just echo old ones in ways that spellbind viewers—or, more likely, folks are just transfixed by their beauty that many Hollywood stars would envy. In any case, this glorification of appearance over ideas would sicken Admiral Rickover and anyone who cares about solving our endless national and global problems in ways that achieve victory without handing a defeat to others. Our Founding Fathers would be horrified to learn that Americans pay rapt attention to the foxes on Fox who won the genetic lottery and benefited from other breaks in life handed to them on a silver platter because people are eager, as research has shown, to give things to very attractive women, including job opportunities.
Without their yummy looks, Tantaros, Ham, Guilfoyle, along with others such as Megyn Kelly, Jenna Lee, Gretchen Carlson, Jamie Colby, Shannon Bream, Dana Perino, Monica Crowley, Lis Wiehl, and Margaret Hoover wouldn't be on Fox News. However, because they are beautiful, they displaced others with worse looks but better ideas: an inevitable consequence of the attractive expert syndrome.
Margaret Hoover is related to a former U.S. President, but big deal, so am I. She spends more than a bit of her time buffing the reputation of her great-grandfather who led the United States into the Great Depression, explaining why he is “ranked poorly among US Presidents.” That spin ought to rub Bill “the spin stops here” O'Reilly the wrong way, but he loves her (or her appearance) so much that he frequently has her on his show. After years of waiting, I am still waiting for the first bright idea from her or the other Fox News foxes.
Do the foxes understand what they say, or do they just read teleprompters?
Uma Pemmaraju, another fox on Fox, reported that “An Olympic champion swimmer severs her spine in a horrible television crash, um, Amy Van Dyken-Rouen is now recovering from surgery …” The screen, and likely her teleprompter, said ATV crash, not television (TV) crash. As an ER doc, I never saw or heard of anyone being injured in a television crash.
Fox News seems to be grooming Laura Ingraham to fill O'Reilly's shoes, but she is a poor choice. Even when I disagree with him, O'Reilly strikes me as a generally good man with a good heart while the pizzazz-less Ingraham seems to have a perpetual streak of poorly concealed anger mixed with a robotic coldness and an inside-the-box mentality that I find repulsive.
Fox News preferentially helps foxes promote their books. FNC evidently did this in touting The Cult of Perfection by Cooper Lawrence, a fox who is evidently too young to please readers. They soundly trashed that book, giving it just 1.2 out of 5 stars on Amazon (currently, 172 of 187 reviewers gave it a one-star rating) and 1.5 out of 5 stars on Barnes & Noble, despite a subject matter that should have made it easy to curry favor with her readers.
A reviewer said that Lawrence “went straight from college into the entertainment industry: talk radio, magazines, and tabloid news television”—a foreshortened road to success paved by media outlets like Fox that don't understand that people need to acquire a few wrinkles before they're truly qualified to crowd others out of the limelight.
It's not that Lawrence and others like her aren't intelligent, but they're simply too young to have reached their peak of knowledge that could help others. If we had much more than 24 hours per day, we might have time to listen to folks decades ahead of their peak of expertise, but we don't; few of us have time to listen to even 1% of the sages.
With very limited time to squeeze in crucial information that can make the difference between life and death, and happiness and misery, Fox News is more than happy to waste your time. Why? Because they're so in love with foxes they think you're dumb enough to overlook how they hurt you and your loved ones. It's like eating a pound of white bread per day: it isn't toxic, but it crowds out more nutritious foods that could do much more for your health.
Most people discriminate against fat people, including the folks on Fox News who bend over backwards to be politically correct. When was the last time you saw them interview a woman who looks like many women shopping in Wal-Mart? I've never seen one. Instead, they prefer women who range from attractive to unbelievably gorgeous, which might be excusable if hot women had the best minds and the best ideas, but they don't. Those who receive the most attention are often the least deserving of it.
Why is Fox News so susceptible to the attractive expert syndrome? People tend to place more value on attributes they possess. Discussing research published as Obesity discrimination: the role of physical appearance, personal ideology, and anti-fat prejudice, Dr. Kerry O'Brien said, “The higher participants rated their own physical attractiveness and the importance of physical appearance, the greater the prejudice and discrimination.” For the same reason, Bill Gates focuses on IQ (see Scary Smart: The Next Trillion-Dollar Industry).
Anyone who can read people can easily see that Fox News hosts just love their appearance and value it more highly than brainpower and ideas. Thus, true to their name, Fox News gives us foxes with great beauty, not great ideas. Great ideas can save our nation, but the Fox News T&A show of pulchritude is a distraction that diverts attention from meritorious ideas, thus reducing our chance for a vigorous economic recovery. As a physician legally licensed to determine sanity, if Fox News thinks otherwise, they're nuts. They're living in a dream world in which putting beauty on a pedestal makes perfect sense to them even though it is sheer insanity to people with common sense.
The hosts of FNC's The Five displayed their usual level of immaturity in bashing Jonathan Krohn, the precocious conservative teen who shifted Left, triggering bitter conservative reprisals, including predictable immaturity, name-calling, sniping comments on his appearance, profanity (calling him a “douche” and “little bastard”), accusations that he “betrayed God” and “only chang[ed] his political views to get the girls.”
It would be enlightening to learn why such a bright person changed his political philosophy, as I have in many ways, but the Fox News hosts can't stop yapping long enough to think and listen: how people learn. That's how I changed some of my most firmly held political convictions: by listening to others and sincerely caring about them and why they believed what they did. However, as Fox News exemplifies, America is largely a nation filled with many great talkers, but few great listeners. I'm a great listener willing to consider the fact that I am wrong, and when I am, I'm willing to change to correct the error.
I suspect Jonathan Krohn is the same way, but instead of praising him for that or at least tolerating his freedom to think for himself, conservatives who profess to revere freedom mercilessly bash him. He advocates moving “away from ideological boxes”—an idea that would help Americans from the Left and Right understand that cooperation is preferable to conflict, with results that could surpass what each side can offer. However, the big shots in the conservative movement, despite all the lip service they give to freedom, abhor it, preferring to cram people into rigid boxes with no freer personalities than those of robotic Stepford wives. Break out of that mold and many conservatives will feel they are doing God's work by criticizing and ostracizing the offenders who dare think for themselves. Heaven forbid!
Rickover would likely object to the Fox News claim of being “fair and balanced.” While they strive to present alternative viewpoints, some of their liberal commentators aren't in the same league as their conservative hosts, thus being as fair and balanced as pitting the New York Yankees against the Toledo Mud Hens. Furthermore, Fox News enjoys the home field advantage of being able to cut off or ridicule guests as they debate hosts who are hidebound, not open-minded. Being receptive to new ideas and the opinions of others is the polar opposite of bigotry.
bigot (noun): (1) a person who is utterly intolerant of any differing opinion, belief, or creed; (2) a person who is obstinately intolerant of any ideas other than his or her own, especially on politics or religion, and has animosity toward those of differing beliefs.
Enlightened and fair-minded people would not quickly demonize, mock, or disparage others with different opinions. Instead, they would consider that their ideological opponents may have valid points, and they would ask themselves why others might hold those opinions.
“Think for yourselves and let others enjoy the privilege to do so, too.”
Fox News shrilly maintains that it is “fair and balanced,” but its fairness does not extend to people who didn't win life's lottery of success, such as one of my relatives whose oxygen supply at birth was cut off by a nurse following an idiotic hospital policy: that only doctors, not obstetric nurses, could deliver babies. Dutifully complying, she pushed her back in so the doctor could deliver her 15 minutes later, cerebral hypoxia be damned.
“Fair and balanced” is also preposterously inaccurate considering their reflexive rejection of any person or idea that isn't inside the box. Collectively, those inside-the-box people and ideas have put us in the mess we're in. Truly intelligent people, or even folks with a shred of common sense, sense the need for real change, not just changing the faces and names of candidates espousing solutions that are fundamentally just a rehash of freeze-dried ideas from bygone American politicians.
“The world moves, and ideas that were once good are not always good.”
— Dwight D. Eisenhower
If Fox News ran a Baskin-Robbins® ice cream store, they'd offer vanilla, chocolate, and strawberry but hide the other 31 flavors. The big lies at Fox News aren't what they say, but what they don't report. They carefully whittle reality to show viewers only the slice of it they want them to see, intentionally keeping them in the dark. Fully informed people wouldn't be happy with what they have if they knew what they were missing. Fox News does its part to keep 'em happy on the plantation. Escaping from chains of ignorance is more difficult than escaping from the chains of steel that once bound slaves. Modern people are largely bound by invisible chains limiting their worldview and maximizing their tolerance for being screwed by a system designed to do precisely that.
“None are more hopelessly enslaved than those who falsely believe they are free.”
— Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (1749 – 1832), German writer and polymath
“I freed a thousand slaves. I could have freed a thousand more if only they knew they were slaves.”
— Harriet Tubman, a truly great American who had a $52,000 bounty on her head, equivalent to $1.41 million in 2012
“It is difficult to free fools from the chains they revere.”
“Disobedience is the true foundation of liberty. The obedient must be slaves.”
— Henry David Thoreau, author of Walden and Civil Disobedience, an essay “motivated in part by his disgust with slavery and the Mexican–American War.”
“It is well enough that people of the nation do not understand our banking and monetary system, for if they did, I believe there would be a revolution before tomorrow morning.”
— Henry Ford
This isn't just my opinion or Ford's opinion; Justice Martin Mahoney wrote:
“The activity of the Federal Reserve Banks … is contrary to public policy and contrary to the Constitution of the United States. … [They] exercise an exclusive monopoly and privilege of creating credit and issuing notes at the expense of the public, which does not receive a fair equivalent. This scheme is obliquely designed for the benefit of an idle monopoly to rob, blackmail, and oppress the producers of wealth. The Federal Reserve Act and the National Bank Act are, in their operation and effect, contrary to the whole letter and spirit of the Constitution of the United States, for they confer an unlawful and unnecessary power on private parties; they hold all of our fellow citizens in dependence. … These Acts … are subversive to the rights of the People in their rights to life, liberty, and property. … This case represents but another refined form of slavery by the bankers.”
This “scheme,” as Justice Mahoney termed it, affects every American every day, screwing them directly and producing myriad indirect opportunities for the über-rich to unfairly subjugate us, creating what Mahoney said was a “refined form of slavery.”
Since Fox News is owned by über-rich Rupert Murdoch, it isn't surprising that even Bill O'Reilly (who claims to be looking out for us) finds endless ways to fritter away time on hot babes with room-temperature IQs or other things that aren't worth discussing until this fundamental injustice is corrected.
Instead, Fox News creates the impression that Ron Paul (one of the few politicians who cares about this matter) is a nut with dangerous ideas. Yeah, right, we're all so much better off living in a system in which the über-rich figuratively place nooses around our necks and chains around our ankles, shackling us to a system that is tantamount to economic slavery. I discussed this topic in more detail in another article exploring how the “we fought for freedom” explanation for World War II doesn't stand up to scrutiny even from someone like me, who once was pro-war and believed the USA could do no wrong.
Noam Chomsky's Manufacturing Consent: The Political Economy of the Mass Media “show[s] that, contrary to the usual image of the news media as cantankerous, obstinate, and ubiquitous in their search for truth and defense of justice, in their actual practice they defend the economic, social, and political agendas of the privileged groups that dominate domestic society, the state, and the global order.” Fox News is no different. They duped most of their fans into thinking they favor freedom when they only favor adjusting the figurative nooses around our necks, not removing them.
To illustrate how the close-mindedness of Fox News isn't limited to politics, consider how their health coverage is overwhelmingly biased in favor of Big Pharma: large pharmaceutical manufacturers who use chicanery to trick consumers into thinking their drugs are more helpful and less risky than they really are. Numerous investigators, experts, writers, and former industry insiders have exposed how Big Pharma uses money to hoodwink doctors and patients, yet I've never seen Fox News cover this deception. It affects everyone, impacting our wallets and health, and sending some folks to premature graves, yet I never saw Fox find the time to discuss this subject. They did, however, find plenty of time to show car chases, pop trivia quizzes, and critiquing celebrities.
That pablum displaces other more critical information, such as how Big Food—the processed food industry with tentacles in most restaurants—is harming our health, happiness, brainpower, and appearance. Dr. Sanjay Gupta interviewed UCSF Professor Robert H. Lustig, MD, an endocrinologist, on 60 Minutes, who presented a compelling case that sugar is toxic, not just fattening.
Dr. Lustig's presentation, Sugar: The Bitter Truth, echoed many of the ideas I presented in high school in 1974 on how sugar causes hyperinsulinemia and insulin resistance, which is the metabolic root of many of the diseases and conditions that make us miserable.
Interestingly, nutrition affects how people think, including facets of personality such as empathy and tolerance for different viewpoints — something rarely seen on Fox News, such as when Bill O'Reilly screams that guests who don't agree with him are “crazy” or “nuts.” I had my own problem with lack of empathy and tolerance for different viewpoints, but after I stumbled upon a nutritional solution for it, it opened my (closed) mind and made me realize that the liberals I once loathed as nutty weren't so nutty after all; in fact, on some issues they were right on.
I once was a die-hard conservative who thought that Fox News was exemplary, but their ideological intolerance grated at me, progressively wearing away my patience. If they can alienate me, they can catalyze disaffection in other thinking people.
Fox News, and their ideological clones, have put the flaws and mistakes of President Obama and his wife under the microscope. Considering their role as President and First Lady, that's a good idea. We wouldn't want any killers in the White House, now would we?
Well, we already have. Laura Bush, then Laura Welch, killed her former boyfriend, Mike Douglas, when she ran a stop sign on a clear, dry evening at a level intersection of straight roads in the middle of nowhere—a location where stop signs are easily visible long before they are approached. At that time in 1963, there was no marginal development to distract her as she rushed to a drive-in theater, striking Douglas, who was driving another car.
There is no question that she was was driving recklessly and hence was negligent. By inexcusably violating one of the most basic traffic laws that directly led to the death of a human (Douglas's neck was broken when he was ejected from his vehicle), Laura should have been charged with a crime. Texas law would characterize her criminal act as vehicular manslaughter, a felony. She should have spent years in prison to punish her and to serve as an example to others, many of whom are much less careful driving than they should be. As an ER doctor, I could tell you stories that would break your heart, such as a 10-year-old girl who was paralyzed by a graduate of the Laura Welch-Bush careless driving school.
Why wasn't Laura charged with a crime? The state of Texas prosecutes others who kill by driving recklessly. In this case, they had an open-and-shut case against her. So why didn't they pursue it? Her “father was a home builder and later successful real estate developer.” In the ER, I've seen how affluent or well-connected, popular people are often effectively given a get-out-of-jail-free card and treated more leniently. Some of the crimes they get away with make a mockery of the rule of law, which stipulates that all people are equally subject to the law. That is a great concept, but ultimately laws are enforced by people, who can choose to prosecute or look the other way.
The latter happened locally when people in power should have—but didn't—intervene to stop a physician who was a raging sex maniac (he's the one I refer to as Stud Muffin in my books and websites). While I was interviewing for an ER job in a new town, the ER director, also a physician, told me what the Stud Muffin would do: get an erection and then “press himself” against women during pelvic examinations, apparently trying to impress them with the size of his penis. Kooky. He also had sex with a patient in the hospital chapel and videotaped it, according to the ER director, who seemed amused by the antics of this pervert.
The Stud Muffin eventually impregnated a patient, who reportedly wanted him to support the child. Seems like a reasonable thing to do, correct? The Stud reportedly didn't want to pay—just play—so the justifiably angry patient apparently contacted the State Board of Medicine, which revoked Muffin's medical license.
They cannot force him to pay child support, but they can insist that doctors don't juxtapose their genitalia to vulvas during pelvic exams, and they can prohibit docs from having sex with patients, but not ex-patients, although the state of Washington seems to think it can do the latter—but that's another story.
In this case, the Stud was reportedly still treating her (evidently in his private office; he only moonlighted in the ER), so she was technically still his patient. News of the Stud's indiscretions were old news in that town, so why did local big shots with a duty to intervene look the other way? According to my boss (he hired me), Stud had a son who was a star on the high school football team.
So what??? My expressive face (according to my girlfriend) must have telegraphed how wacky I thought his explanation was. What the heck does having a high-school-football-team-star son have to do with turning a blind eye to a serial sex maniac (the patient mentioned above is only one of his victims; when this hit the local press, others came out of the woodwork to reveal what the Stud Muffin had done to them.
The ER director explained that high school football was a big deal in that town.
I still didn't get it. Such sports mean nothing to me. I'd much rather munch on bitter raw broccoli while reading a dictionary than watch sports, which strikes me as a phenomenal waste of time. There's always something better to do: take care of my chickens, slowblow the driveway of an elderly disabled neighbor, or answer questions from young students who aspire to become doctors (and answer even more questions). I've spent years doing those things and many more. I never have any time or inclination to watch sports, let alone glorify those who engage in them, or their families.
The reverence for sports is a foreign concept to me, as is the double standard excusing unlawful conduct on the part of those associated with sports. The latter contributed to the misdeeds of Penn State football alleged pervert Jerry Sandusky, who “was arrested and charged with 40 counts of sexual abuse of young boys over a 15-year period.” People who should have intervened looked the other way because he was a big shot in sports. The Stud Muffin's reign of unbridled passion continued longer than it should have for a similar reason.
What does all this have to do with Laura Welch-Bush? If you're somebody, or related to a somebody, you can often get off scot-free while nobodies are given the full force of the law. Senator Ted Kennedy is proof of that, having escaped justice for killing Mary Jo Kopechne in the Chappaquiddick incident, but he has been pilloried millions of times for that, even decades later, and even after his death, yet there are fewer reports of what Laura did than there are of aliens from outer space landing on Earth. Go figure.
What does all this have to do with Fox News and its ideological clones? If you rely on them for fair and balanced reporting, you probably thought the worst thing about Laura was her stiff, uptight, plastic personality that made her seem like a robot too good to be true. Evidently, her persona was too good to be true. However, despite the years I spent watching Fox News and other conservative sources, it wasn't until January 2012 when I learned from a neutral source how Laura is not the perfect princess she is often portrayed as being. That princess has blood on her hands.
Some people have suggested that Laura intentionally killed her ex-boyfriend, but that explanation does not hold water. Almost certainly, the death she caused was the result of a youthful error—one that she deeply regrets. We all make mistakes, and I would be willing to overlook her grievous act if she didn't give excuses for it that cross the line of bullshit, as in Laura thinks we're all really stupid and will believe the following baloney in suggesting that “a host of factors beyond her control played a role” in the crash:
|The road was pitch-black.||Cars have headlights. The night was clear. Darker conditions make headlights even more visible.|
|The intersection was unusually dangerous.||An ≈90-degree intersection of straight roads in a flat, dry area without marginal development is dangerous? On what planet?|
|The stop sign was small.||She'd likely traveled that road numerous times before.|
|The victim's car was “sporty and sleek.”||So what? At night, vehicles are located by their lights. Having “sporty and sleek” styling does not make lights any less visible.|
|The victim's car was one “that Ralph Nader made famous in his book Unsafe at Any Speed. He claimed the car was unstable and prone to rollover accidents.”||Douglas would have been fine if Laura hadn't struck him while driving at high speed. That car's alleged defects, which even Laura admits were erroneously attributed to it, HAD NOTHING TO DO WITH CAUSING THE ACCIDENT, which was 100% her fault.|
These excuses are an order of magnitude more pathetic than “my dog ate my homework.” No one would bother insulting our intelligence with them, unless they were given by someone, such as a stuffy elitist, so detached from the real world that she thought we'd lap up that nonsense.
However, Laura Bush isn't entirely to blame for being gutsy enough to try pulling the wool over our eyes. She was aided and abetted by news organizations such as Fox News that refuse to pose really tough questions to people in power. Then Fox News has the gall to whine about how some viewers don't fully accept their superficial questions that too easily let big shots off the hook. Bill O'Reilly's trademark phrase is “the spin stops here,” yet I never heard him blast Laura Bush's spin.
Yes, Fox News, some of your viewers are sufficiently intelligent and perceptive enough to realize that what you consider hard-hitting questions are often pathetic softball queries that elementary school children could ask. Can't you do any better?
Ask the really tough questions and dig until there is nothing more to be found, then let the politician off the hook (letting the viewers decide) instead of continuing to drag them through the mud for months with more rounds of inconclusive, amateurish reporting made semi-palatable only by spicing up their broadcasts with the Fox News T&A team of impossibly gorgeous women with bodies hot enough to distract viewers so they can't think straight.
Not surprisingly, researchers found that men have more problems thinking in the presence of exceptionally attractive women. The human mind has a limited capacity to focus attention. When a man is marveling at the resplendently beautiful faces and luscious legs framed in purposely short skirts of, say, Kimberly Guilfoyle or Andrea Tantaros, he is less apt to notice the questions Fox News doesn't ask.
Neither Laura Bush or the Stud Muffin are worth discussing, except to illustrate an important point: in the United States, forgiveness and the rule of law are not evenly applied.
You don't have to be a fat cat political donor to figuratively get away with murder; you can be a cute young girl, as Laura was, whose tears helped persuade local authorities that she'd already suffered enough. Why put her through the stress of a trial? That might upset her senior-year plans! Laura wasn't even ticketed for the accident and the death she caused. She's cute. She cried. That's enough.
Fox News is selective in choosing whose dirt they dig up. That's not balanced, nor is it fair to the other side, which seems comparatively worse, but really isn't. I've yet to meet someone who didn't fall far short of perfection. As a doctor, I was privy to secrets that would make your eyes bug out. Seemingly mainstream folks, celebrities, professional athletes, and assorted big shots, all of whom want the world to believe they're as normal as June and Ward Cleaver, the prototypically perfect parents in Leave It to Beaver. If you only knew!
Another Fox News omission
In discussing President Obama's eligibility for office, Fox News found plenty of time to let idiots show us their small minds. Airing opinions is less important than airing facts, correct? Yes, because as a purported news organization, facts should be given more priority than opinions, especially the smug hot-air opinions Fox seems to adore.
Here is a FACT I never heard FNC mention: Obama is not the first President to have his constitutional eligibility questioned. That honor belongs to my relative, Chester Arthur, who may have been born in Canada. No one knows for sure, given the shoddy recordkeeping in those days. Regardless of where he was born, Arthur did a superb job as President—something you may not have learned from educators with a fondness for wartime Presidents. (I discussed some of Arthur's accomplishments in another article.)
As an example of how Fox News blows chances to ask tough questions, they interviewed the author of a book who evidently thinks that diets are for women and girls only. Why not challenge his sexist opinion? Not challenging it sends a tacit message to young women that men—even really fat ones, in this case—can lecture women on why it is better for them to be slim. What's good for the goose is good for the gander, right?
Some things reported on Fox News may be accurate but still exasperate thinking viewers because the truth isn't the full story. For example, Charles Payne said (3-30-2016) it has been proven that raising the minimum wage reduces employment, which it likely does. However, I've never heard him or anyone else on FNC say that astronomical CEO pay hurts their corporations. Wouldn't it make more sense to shower money on CEOs only if they are smart enough to figure out how to pay workers a reasonable living wage?
What prompted Payne's ire was a threat by airport workers to go on strike, demanding $15 per hour. I thought, “What—security, cleaning, and other personnel are now paid less than that?” Travelers pay through the nose and top airline executives live better than kings; why not live like princes so airport workers can live in dignity?
Fox News clearly thinks that people who live in big cities—especially coastal ones—are automatically more credible than others. For example, Megyn Kelly revealed her cultural bias while interviewing a woman from New Jersey who saw a UFO. Kelly flat-out said that report was more believable because it came from a coastal resident. In Kelly's mind, folks in the heartland of American are naïve, simple creatures less adept at separating fact from fiction. Puh-leeze!
Fox News helps promulgate the notion that Ronald Reagan is a worthy icon of smaller government, but Reagan passed the “largest tax increase in Californian history” when he was governor. His successor, Democrat Jerry Brown, cut taxes. As President, Reagan “expanded the federal government by about 90%.” Ray Medeiros convincingly demonstrated that Republican rhetoric about smaller government is just hot air; statistics tell a different story. Andrew Romano showed that even Reagan wasn't a Reagan Republican. Jonathan Rauch blended facts and humor to reveal that Republicans have Reagan all wrong. Anthony Gregory unmasked how Reagan increased domestic and military spending, and how the latter is often applauded by Republicans even though it devastated the Soviet economy—and will do the same to us.
The United States, led by Republican war hawks, is following the same pattern, digging its own grave with its military spending. Fox News does such an abysmal job of coming to grips with this reality that they reflexively ridicule anyone who objects to national economic suicide via excessive defense spending. Fox News doesn't employ anyone with enough brainpower to know the predictive value of demographics, which provides rock-solid reasons for slashing military spending now so we can afford to defend ourselves in the near future.
Obama is the only President in history wise enough to realize that our long-term national defense will be strengthened by scaling back the military we now have—military we can't afford. Without cutbacks, our military expenditures will bankrupt us, leaving us with either no military or with domestic spending so low people who counted on the government to survive will not survive, unless you consider cardboard box homes and fillet of cat sandwiches to be survival (see The endless wars we cannot afford in my article The collapse of the U.S. economy: inevitable unless we do this). However, Fox News paints Obama as being dangerously misguided about defense when it is their Republican darlings who don't realize that our bloated and inefficient military is doing less to save us than to decimate our prosperity and long-term national security. Fox News inculcates the “you're crazy unless you're a war hawk” notion so effectively that FNC fans root for the wrecking ball that is shattering their dreams and the dreams of their children.
“I awoke, only to find that the rest of the world is still asleep.”
— Leonardo da Vinci
“Heroism on command, senseless violence, and all the loathsome nonsense that goes by the name of patriotism—how passionately I hate them!”
— Albert Einstein
“It is lamentable, that to be a good patriot one must become the enemy of the rest of mankind.”
“No snowflake in an avalanche ever feels responsible.”
Incidentally, Katie Pavlich's Facebook page lists Laura Bush as one of her Activities and Interests. Perhaps Pavlich doesn't know that Laura Bush is a killer, or perhaps she forgave her for making that fatal mistake. Forgiveness is something all good Christians should do, correct? Leave the judging to God, correct?
Not quite. As I'll later prove, many Christians give Bush a pass for what she did, but don't forgive considerably more minor mistakes made by others. Why does Bush get a pass while others who did far less get hammered? Because Bush fits the Republican mold for what a darling princess should be. By fitting into that mold so well she is often put on a pedestal, it proves the mold is warped. That's one reason I lost my affinity for Republican ideology, which gives killers a pass if their hearts and minds are judged by judgmental people to be in the right place. Laura killed one and George killed many, yet they're judged beyond perfect by their adoring fans. Pavlich likes George W. Bush, too. No surprise there. And Dana Perino, who is intelligent, educated, articulate, and attractive, yet has never said anything interesting or conceived a single brilliant idea. The winners of the Republican genetic lottery club have predictable affinities. You fit the mold, and you're in.
Republicans clamor for good ideas to save our nation, but they don't realize that the outside-the-box people who generate those ideas are precisely the ones they are allergic to. Nonconformity is a fatal sin at Fox News and in the Republican world, where Ronald Reagan is often viewed as the epicenter of intelligence. Conservative Republicans and virtually everyone at Fox News flock primarily to politically unimaginative minds with unoriginal thoughts—that sounds harsh until you read the definition of conservative.
“In heaven all the interesting people are missing.”
— Friedrich Nietzsche
“The great artists of the world are never Puritans, and seldom even ordinarily respectable. No virtuous man—that is, virtuous in the YMCA sense—has ever painted a picture worth looking at, or written a symphony worth hearing, or a book worth reading.”
— H. L. Mencken
(some interesting science suggests why that is true)
“It has been my experience that folks who have no vices have very few virtues.”
— Abraham Lincoln
Republicans adore our Founding Fathers, but the most supremely brilliant and indispensable one, polymath Ben Franklin, would not pass the current Republican puritanical litmus test. Franklin was a patron of prostitutes and lifelong womanizer who loved women, loved sex, and wrote about it in detail, such as unabashedly discussing the sensate characteristics of vaginas as women aged, that would cause Republicans who value fitting in the mold to break out in hives. What would people at the country club think?
Of course, Franklin was the most revered man in the world at that time. Walter Isaacson called him “the most accomplished American of his age,” and he was the foremost heartthrob of the 18th century—a time when people valued brains more than appearance, and substance more than style.
Our Founding Fathers are often idolized as saints or demigods, but some of them had Clintonian sexual appetites. Besides Franklin, there was Thomas Jefferson—another polymath—who had a longstanding affair with Sally Hemings (one of his slaves) that produced several children.
In today's world in which a PC blunder or two can end a career, as it did to Dr. Lazar Greenfield, Franklin and Jefferson would be outcast as if they had leprosy, and the United States would have lost the Revolutionary War. Ironically, the Puritans weren't sexually puritanical: their reputation for “dour prudery” was a “misreading that went unquestioned in the nineteenth century.”
Is it any wonder why the USA is failing? Then and now, the best ideas come from people who don't fit in a rigid mold of acceptability. Inside-the-box ideas are not novel; they're just a rehash of old concepts that don't advance the world. Outside-the-box ideas come from outside-the-box people who don't fit in molds—folks who detest molds and the small minds that thirst for them. No inside-the-box idea is going to save our nation and restore the kind of prosperity Americans want for themselves and their children, but Fox News won't permit any outside-the-box idea to be expressed without immediately trashing it. Let's just keep doing what we've been doing, right FNC brainiacs? Remember Einstein's definition of insanity?
The medical school I attended had a mandatory unit with a singular purpose: to erase the puritanical crap we'd acquired from our sick culture. The professors said the goal was to have us treat sex as openly as any other medical topic so we would give better care. They stressed that sex, not just the cold biology of reproduction, was an integral part of medicine.
Most cultures around the world treat sex in a matter-of-fact, mature way, but in the United States, where people often conflate sex with pornography, sex is frequently treated as if it were so radioactively juvenile that it almost makes sense to think less of Franklin, Einstein, and a slew of Nobel Prize winners who loved sex.
The American culture is disgustingly judgmental and eager to cram people into molds that penalize outside-the-box thinking. And who's leading the way on this national economic suicide? Fox News and anyone who can stomach their ideological intolerance.
Guess what? If you penalize outside-the-box thinking, you get less of it. Guess what that leads to? The kind of economic misery we're now enduring, but to put it colloquially, you ain't seen nothin' yet. In the late 1980s I read the writing on the wall and concluded that we were headed for an economic collapse—an opinion I put in a book I published in the 1990s when we were riding high and seemingly destined to stay that way.
Frankly, you don't need a crystal ball to realize that we need good outside-the-box ideas to save our country, you need only do the math. If you're one of the few Americans smart enough to understand demographics and make economic predictions from them, you know that our goose is cooked unless we quickly break out of the ideological prison we've shackled ourselves in—one that Fox News seems hell-bent on enforcing. Fox News didn't dig the American grave, but it is merrily hammering in the final nails of its coffin and hence blocking our chance to escape. The one thing we need—outside-the-box thinking—is the one thing Fox News won't tolerate. That's Fox News. That's insanity. And that's coming from someone who once worshipped them. Bonus points for anyone smart enough to explain the psychological etiology of their close-mindedness, which has a common root in their big stars. You don't need to go to medical school and have training in psychiatry to figure this one out.
Fox News: We deceive. You believe.
I used to be an über-war hawk, über-Republican, über-conservative, and über-fan of FNC, but I slowly but surely realized that following the paths they favor will lead us down the wrong road. Their primary allure—that small government is better—is evidently such a big lie that even they don't believe it, but they're happy to pull the wool over your eyes to dupe you into believing it.
Big government IS crushing American prosperity as they drain resources from us to them, but we are stuck with it; anyone who thinks otherwise is living in a fantasy land unless they have a viable plan for substantially shrinking government. BTW, if you think Republicans will substantially shrink the federal government, please cite even one time they did that. My plan is realistic, enabling greedy big government to have what it wants while citizens on the Right and Left have even more of what they want than they do now.
Periodic self-assessment helps me recognize errors I've made. I've become a better person by not clinging to the flaws I once possessed. I think that Fox News is long overdue for a self-assessment of whether they might benefit from change. I say yes. What do you say?
The common denominator between our affinity for Fox News and our politicians helps explain why we're sliding down the economic slope: how the American obsession with beauty is helping destroy the USA
Many studies prove that American voters are more likely to elect physically attractive politicians: ones with pretty or handsome faces, more hair and height, and in the case of men, deeper voices (see Notes for references). We often give more credence to good-looking people, unconsciously falling victim to an innate tendency to equate a better appearance with better leadership skills and more brainpower. This is but one facet of our tendency to generalize the attributes of attractive people, such as when men are eager to think that hot women are more interesting, funny, wonderful, great, and amazing.
Our obsession with beauty is decimating our prosperity, because by giving power to attractive politicians and attention to attractive pundits—like the foxes on Fox—we run smack-dab into the statistical realities of the attractive expert syndrome: that selecting for an uncommon attribute, such as extraordinary appearance, takes most people out of the running, including many people who could run circles around the hotties.
Beauty and brains don't go hand in hand, so by making appearance one of the primary selection criteria, the brightest people with the best ideas, who usually are not the best looking, often lose out to those who have less on the ball but appearance that people just can't resist—like Katie Pavlich, who has off-the-scale appearance but run-of-the-mill ideas. While she is indeed commendable, what sets her apart from the pack is her appearance, not her ideas. I have many conservative friends who could leave her in the dust. They have higher IQs, are more compellingly persuasive, and write so impressively that I can't help but admire their brilliance even though I no longer agree with all of their conclusions. Yet you'll never see even one of them on Fox News, because they don't fit the disgustingly restrictive mold for Fox News eye candy, but Pavlich is bound to appear again and again.
How many people repeatedly appear on Fox News? Much less than one person in 100,000, and much closer to one in a million. What is it about Pavlich that explains the Fox News fascination with her? Her appearance is close to one in a million, but her brainpower is more ordinary than exceptional. Yes, she wrote a book, but countless authors with better ideas and more persuasive presentations are given the cold shoulder by Fox News and other media to make room for the babes.
By participating in this charade and feeding the American addiction for pulchritude, Pavlich is helping destroy the United States. If she were the patriot she professes to be, she and other hotties like her would step aside, admonishing their adoring fans to focus on the brightest people with the best ideas to save America, not the best looking folks who rehash what many others are saying. We desperately need people with outstanding ideas, not outstanding appearance. We're awash in beauty and bereft of brilliance. Katie's 15 minutes of fame ought to come decades from now when she has more wrinkles but more life experience, more wisdom, and keener arguments to influence people who might be swayed by hearing what obscure people on Facebook and elsewhere are saying even better.
With television being the visual medium that it is, people with more confidence in their appearance have an advantage over others, but this confidence is often a smug manifestation of narcissism. In Narcissism: the secret sauce of self-delusion and Narcissists Look Like Good Leaders, but They Aren't, I explained the danger of falling prey to people with overly inflated self-esteem. There is a world of difference between healthy, justified self-esteem and the narcissistic conviction of greatness based on trifling (e.g., appearance) or imaginary reasons.
Speaking at a TED Conference, Susan Cain, author of Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking, said, “There is zero correlation between being the best talker and having the best ideas.”
Fox News is chock-full of silver-tongued great talkers, but has even one of them ever had a single original great idea—that is, one not parroting a bright idea conceived by someone else? However, their mesmerizing appearance is so spellbinding that few viewers ever consider how they would be better served by watching programs hosted by people with better brains but less attractive bodies.
Physical attractiveness combined with narcissism is a malignant combination that often blinds onlookers, preventing them from seeing even obvious flaws. When we are dazzled by the veneer, we often cannot see the rotten core.
Let's face it: most of us are followers, not leaders. We look to the man with something extra—the man (or woman) who radiates self-confidence—to lead us because, deep down, we feel inferior. We feel that anyone audacious enough to brazenly display so much ego must have good reason for it. They must be smarter, more creative, capable of generating brilliant ideas, wise, judicious, decisive, conscientious, and every other attribute from A to Z. But no, it's often just plain ol' ego masquerading as competence.
Americans flock to attractive candidates and pundits so fixated on rewarding what they possess that they preferentially focus on and recommend the politicians with the best appearance even if they don't have the best ideas. This malignant transformation of values has warped the United States from an idea meritocracy into a frigging big beauty contest in which the best-looking politicians write our laws and the hottest pundits tell us what we should think and whom we should vote for, with sheeple predictably flocking to über-hunk Mitt Romney who edged out über-handsome Rick Santorum—and that concentration of Ken doll clones is just a coincidence to unthinking voters.
If you can wrap your mind around elementary statistics that explain why selecting for appearance lessens the chance of striking a mental goldmine, you know why the American obsession with beauty is helping destroy America. If Fox News were truly fair and balanced, they'd lose their fixation on mold conformity and obsession with appearance. All of their inside-the-box thinking and all of their foxes are doing a very ugly thing: eroding the values that made America great. Fox News will give airtime to hot embryos just out of college, but if Ben Franklin were still alive, he wouldn't pass their litmus test of acceptability. One of the greatest minds of all time would be silenced so that one of the greatest beauties of all time can echo what many others are saying even better.
Fox News panders to the proclivity for pulchritude, which takes us ever further from the pinnacle of greatness. A true patriot would not participate in this charade, which tramples the hallowed values of our Founding Fathers and replaces them with the Hollywood values of the Fox News T&A Team that deserves reprobation, not veneration. Fox News is home to narcissists so in love with themselves they'd rather stay on the air than resign so their shoes could be filled by people with better minds and better ideas. In other words, their success means more to them than the success of America, which is succumbing to the inimical effects of gravitating to beauty, not brains.
In seeking to identify the primary flaw in Fox News, I obtained clues by considering how I've changed in the years since I was an ardent FNC fan.
THEN: I was afflicted with system justification. I didn't think our government was perfect, but I vigorously defended it against anyone who criticized it, including my girlfriend.
NOW: I see myriad flaws in our government. Defend that? Are you kidding?
RELEVANCE TO FNC: Despite their frequent bitching about our government, not a single FNC host or guest has ever expressed some of the obvious remedies to rapidly get our government back on track. Trust me, no one could be that stupid, because as I discussed elsewhere, even animals instantly figure out how to play that game and win. With stupidity ruled out as an excuse, system justification is the most likely explanation for why FNC bellyaching is toothless: because they really don't want to change the system, not even for the better. As I mentioned in a discussion of why I am now less conservative, Fox News has made a mint selling unwinnable solutions that perpetuate problems, not solve them.
This was confirmed on March 22, 2013 when Mark Levin interviewed Zev Chafets. author of Roger Ailes: Off Camera (Ailes is the head of Fox News). According to Chafets, when it became clear that Obama would win the presidential election, Ailes said “This is going to be bad for the taxpayers but good for our ratings.” Better ratings means more money for Hannity, O'Reilly, and other Fox hosts; they thrive when Americans are mired in problems. With such an incentive to perpetuate them, do you really think they want to solve them? I don't. They profit from your misery. Now do you understand why I am so harshly critical of them?
The hypocrisy of Fox News
FNC blasted MSNBC host Ed Schultz, who frequently champions union causes, for accepting about $200,000 from union groups between 2012 and 2013. I'd bet my last dollar that his conservative counterparts are directly or indirectly paid, or otherwise rewarded, for toeing the party line representing what special interest groups or the Republican Party want them to say.
If all talk show hosts and pundits disclosed their financial ties, we'd see that what we presume to be free-press journalists are in fact just whores paid to shill for a political party or special interest organizations. This isn't just speculation. After some “journalists” contacted me for what seemed a fishy reason, I scratched beneath the surface (their apparently neutral media organization) and found they were in fact propagandists who worked for highly partisan groups. They were not interested in the truth; they were interested in distorting it to advance their political agenda.
Smart voters on the Right and Left wonder how the future of the United States was doomed by politicians in the past few decades who screwed us in previously unimaginable ways as the press that is supposed to scream bloody murder instead offered nothing but toothless controlled opposition.
“The best way to control the opposition is to lead it ourselves.”
— Vladimir Lenin
“The smart way to keep people passive and obedient is to strictly limit the spectrum of acceptable opinion, but allow very lively debate within that spectrum – even encourage the more critical and dissident views. That gives people the sense that there's free thinking going on, while all the time the presuppositions of the system are being reinforced by the limits put on the range of the debate.”
— Noam Chomsky
Knowing these propagandists pose as journalists explains why they so often agree with one another on almost every significant issue, demonstrating much less variability in that regard than ordinary citizens on both sides of the political spectrum. Remarkably, talking heads of a particular stripe seem less diverse in their opinions than our politicians, who certainly are paid whores.
UPDATE: I took a break after writing this article and saw a true crime show about a beautiful college student's murder that was quickly solved after attention from Fox News and other national media encouraged the Governor to unleash tremendous law enforcement resources.
That's good, but how often does Fox News go to bat for similar victims who are ugly? When will Fox News get around to covering my father's murder? The “carjacking gone wrong” case FNC put in the national spotlight because the victim was a college fox is less compelling than the story behind my father's murder, but the foxes on Fox are so enraptured with beauty and so determined to glorify it that they make national news of a quotidian murder while my father's poignant case is ignored even though lessons from it could help others in addition to entertaining and even spellbinding them (the story would make a good Hollywood movie).
- Why She's [Andrea Tantaros] Suing Fox News
- To Barack Obama: You are the only Nobel Peace Prize recipient in history to brag that you're “really good at killing people.” Do you deserve that award?
- To Mitt Romney: In your senior year of high school, you led a group of students who hunted down a classmate you hated because he dared to be different. Evidently one of the things that bugged you about him was his long blonde hair, which draped over one eye, so you and your friends held him down and cut off his hair. One of the participants, now an attorney, said he considers the attack to be “assault and battery.” You laughed when discussing that barbaric incident. What do you find amusing about it? You claim not to recall the assault, but memory experts say that forgetting such an unusual incident is highly unlikely unless you are demented or unless such attacks were routine for you. Your intolerance for nonconformity was so extreme that you felt entitled to commit a crime to punish it, but history suggests that those who don't follow the pack are more likely to achieve great things and conceive the big breakthroughs that advance civilization and our economy. There is no magical inside-the-box solution that can optimize our economic growth, which requires good outside-the-box ideas, such as those proposed by Dr. Pezzi (here's one). Your campaign rhetoric so far indicates that you are still so enamored with conformity that you are basing your plan for recovery on rehashing freeze-dried ideas from bygone American politicians. Your ideas have been tried before, and some have led us into the mess we're in. Einstein said it is insane to do the same thing over and over again and expect different results. Why should voters not question your morality, judgment, and sanity?
Comment: Fox News would never ask such questions because they themselves love to reflexively bash anyone who doesn't conform in every way. If you're not inside-the-box, Fox News will put you in its crosshairs and pull the trigger. If Fox News were “fair and balanced,” they would welcome intellectual diversity, but their conservative stormtroopers wage war on it every day, every chance they get. Here are some articles Fox News doesn't want you to read:
And here's a book Romney won't read:
- To Mitt Romney: One of your central campaign narratives is that you will make a better President than Obama because you made so much money. However, your father was a wealthy industrialist and Governor of Michigan who gave you a huge head start in life. Some people say you were born with a silver spoon in your mouth, you had priceless name recognition, and you look better than most Hollywood stars. Multiple studies have shown that exceptional appearance helps people succeed, and is specifically linked to more pay as a CEO and a greater chance of winning elections. How can you persuade skeptical voters that you would have been equally successful had you not enjoyed all of those advantages?
Comment: That may seem to be an unfair question because Romney cannot assuredly insist he would have been equally successful if he were not attractive and born into a famous family that gave him advantages that very few children enjoy. Romney wasn't just in the top 1%, but the top 0.000001%. Perhaps he has concrete examples of how he helped virtual nobodies on Main Street succeed. If so, I want to hear them.
I was born with a lead spoon in my mouth, was abandoned by my father, sometimes ate food my Mom found on the side of the road and sometimes starved, was ridiculed by my sixth-grade teacher as being “slow,” was physically and mentally abused in and out of school, and had so many other strikes against me (some so painful I won't admit them until I'm old) it's a wonder I succeeded, but I did, graduating in the top 1% of my class in medical school. Years before I did that, I started a successful business mowing lawns, making as much money per hour (adjusted for inflation) as I later earned as a doctor.
I've helped friends transition from low-status occupations to medicine. For example, one is now a neuroradiologist, medical school professor, and president of a prestigious medical organization, and another is a professor at the medical school I attended (Wayne State), and chair of her department at a hospital in the Detroit Medical Center. I've helped many others (including strangers I had no contact with except via the Internet or phone) succeed, too, including people who thought they had a snowball's chance in hell of making it. By doing that, I proved that my dunce-to-doctor transformation wasn't a fluke, but a reliable way to augment intelligence and creativity that others can replicate, paving the way for their success.
My Mom suddenly lost her primary job when her boss, an attorney, was shotgunned to death by his son. We temporarily ended up on welfare, which led to me—still in elementary school—being manhandled by a welfare worker who clearly viewed unemployed people as worthless scum. I was shot, stabbed, punched, kicked, and beaten to a pulp when I was a kid, targeted by people who evidently hated me so much for my appearance that they felt entitled to do something about it; calling me “nigger nose,” “nigger lips,” “bucky,” “Mr. Magoo,” and “retarded boy” apparently wasn't enough to vent their rage. The fear and anxiety triggered a peptic ulcer that bled so much I repeatedly went into stage 2 hypovolemic shock, I developed two diseases stemming from nutritional deficiencies, and the lack of medical care led to rheumatic heart disease and other problems that caused agonizing joint pain. I was so blind that I couldn't see what teachers wrote on the chalkboard unless I pressed on my eyeball with my right hand to partially correct the astigmatism, but—being right-handed—that made it difficult to write. My face was so pockmarked by acne that I performed DIY dermabrasion in high school because I couldn't afford a surgeon. I have a genetic condition that makes getting restful sleep all but impossible and I broke my neck, which made refreshing sleep even less likely.
I'm not the curmudgeon I may seem to be online; my psychologist girlfriend is amazed by how happy and well-adjusted I am in spite of what I endured. I succeeded, against all odds, and many Americans have challenges more formidable than those I faced. If Romney wants us to turn the economy over to him, he should explain how he can help even severely disadvantaged people triumph over their problems and excel, as I did, outperforming the children of doctors and assorted big shots who I left in the dust in college and medical school in spite of their myriad advantages.
I don't doubt that Romney can help rich kids succeed, but I want him to help everyone succeed. His track record as governor suggests he is just another inside-the-box politician with inside-the-box ideas. Would he be receptive to the dunce-to-doctor tips that catalyzed my intellectual metamorphosis? Almost certainly not. If you don't fit into their disgustingly restrictive mold of what a good little clone is, snobby Republicans would rather hobnob with other silver-spoon recipients who owe their success to Daddy and the genetic lottery.
I wasn't always this cynical about Republicans. If you look at my past writing in books and websites stretching back to the mid-1990s, you will see that I once was a fervent supporter of them. I wrote From Bailout to Bliss at a time when my conservatism was waning, being replaced by a willingness to embrace liberal ideas I once would have pilloried—and did so well that a famous Republican lauded my writing in a private message sent to me on Facebook. Katie Pavlich might be shocked to learn that Republican is someone she reveres.
I once thought the Tea Party was the answer to our economic problems, but I now think it is doomed to be nothing more than a band-aid fix that gives voters the rhetoric they crave but not the savings they expect. We're past the point of no return for conventional, inside-the-box solutions to give us the prosperity we want, but many Tea Party supporters think their pixie dust can magically solve our problems and permit us to continue the excessive military spending that is digging our grave.
Even if the Presidency and Congress are filled with politicians who assiduously implement their Tea Party promises and eliminate all government waste, they still won't be able to repay our debt and meet other government obligations without draconian cutbacks, all of which could be avoided if they could free themselves—and us—from the restricted ideological prison that gives them such great comfort, basking in the mold of conformity that permits them to rubber-stamp their robotic adherence to antiquated ideas proven to be nothing more than hot air. Cognizant of voter skepticism, savvy politicians like Mr. Conservative Visionary Paul Ryan invent clever new ways to screw Americans by giving us plans that sound great until you realize how they could be a Trojan horse that just shifts the misery.
Our country is so dysfunctional that we give rapt attention to beautiful people with average ideas, such as Katie Pavlich, who says that she “really dislike[s] Leftists,” but with about half the nation voting that way, that means she loathes about half of the Americans from sea to shining sea. I once did, too, but after I discovered a way to get more than one good night of sleep every five years and stumbled upon a way to increase empathy, I no longer had it in my heart to crave for my economic betterment at the expense of others.
Perhaps that is why I am selling my Sea-doo, Ski-doo, and shed to help a deported person reenter the United States, writing about the priceless benefits of sponsoring immigration, and offering to give free firewood, meals, and microhomes, and suggesting ways to help the government provide essential services at zero cost to it. I've helped many Americans and people in foreign countries, including a programmer in India, who I paid twice as much as we contractually agreed upon. I've given lots of free medical care and written about helping people with medical and other expenses. I was cheated by my health insurance company and I've seen how they've cheated others, so I think that Republican solutions to the healthcare crisis are doomed to fail. In fact, they don't even target the primary problems.
Consequently, I am skeptical that yet another Ken-doll, silver-spoon Republican who won the genetic lottery and picked the right parents has The Right Stuff to help all Americans, including the half that another genetic lottery winner, Katie Pavlich, seems to loathe, not love. Brilliant people should be able to succeed in spite of disadvantages far more onerous than a slightly higher tax rate, so if they are truly great enough to repeatedly earn a spot on Fox News, I want to hear tangible ideas to help everyone, not just bellyaching about politicians who won't give them an even larger slice of the pie.
Friedrich Nietzsche said, “To forget one's purpose is the commonest form of stupidity.” So what is Katie's purpose? To go for the throats of the half of Americans she dislikes so she can have more and they have less? She might pat herself on the back for her crusade, but that strikes me as self-centeredness because the other side feels just as entitled to the spoils accompanying political victory. Perhaps she will grow out of the “I'm right and anyone who disagrees with me is wrong” conviction that propels partisans into assailing people with different opinions. I did that after I acquired enough empathy to sincerely care about others and listen to them, but most partisans just dig in their heels and bask in hidebound ideology they protect—as if it were fragile and in danger of shattering if examined—by using anger that often elicits petulant defense mechanisms, not cerebral analysis.
Anger is often a manifestation of frustration that grows out of wanting something and not getting it, or not getting it as easily as one feels entitled to. Like seeking the easy road to riches, entitlement fuels people into seeking easy ways to get what they want. Don't get what you want? Just get angry and disparage the other side. This may be satisfying on some primitive level, but it hinders a deep exploration for ways in which both sides can not only win, but obtain considerably more than they could by winning a partisan victory. That's why I oppose Fox News and others with second-rate minds or cold hearts who tacitly suggest that partisan victories are the ultimate objective.
Former Republican Presidential candidate Jon Huntsman said “that both parties–the "duopoly," as he calls it—are paralyzed by polarization and inertia, and that the Republican Party in particular is pursuing an "unsustainable" course.” They are indeed. When Huntsman first debated his rivals, he said he thought, “In a nation of 315 million people … is this the best we can do?”
- Question to Bill O'Reilly: With a substantial proportion of our population obese and even morbidly obese, surely some of them have stellar minds with meritorious ideas worth considering, yet you seem to favor drop-dead gorgeous women even if they are wet behind the ears. Would you have interviewed Katie Pavlich if she were ugly and morbidly obese? Have you ever interviewed any woman who was? When will you replace your penchant for pulchritude and give us the best minds with the best ideas? No offense to Katie Pavlich, who is impressive for someone her age, but a million Katie Pavlichs doing what she is doing can't solve our problems. To use a medical analogy, Bill, the United States is circling the drain. We need to get in gear, stat. If you really care about “the folks,” as you profess, forget about the foxes.
- Question to President Obama: What didn't you do in your first term that you would do in a second term to stimulate the economy?
Comment: That's a fair question that many Americans are now wondering. Does President Obama have any new tricks up his sleeve? Anything new he'd try? If he does have new ideas, why doesn't he implement them now? If he doesn't have new solutions, why should we give him a second term? The current ones aren't working well enough for many Americans, such as college student Lindsay Kinsella. She approves of President Obama's views on birth control, gay marriage, and a woman's right to choose but adds, “At this point in time, even I have to wonder what's more important, social or economic factors? Obama hasn't delivered on any of the promises he made in 2008 to advance the economy beyond the shambles it became when the housing market collapsed.”
“Do nothing, say nothing, and be nothing, and you'll never be criticized.”
My related articles
- I gave more reasons to loathe Fox News in The collapse of the U.S. economy.
- If you still think Fox cares about the truth, read what they did to Jane Akre. Fox loves Big Business and neocons more than the truth. As I documented above, the Neocon Channel doesn't care about killing kids in other countries, but reporters can be fired for telling the truth about the junk Big Business is feeding us. If you think that's fair and balanced, you're a fool.
- Rupert Murdoch ‘not fit’ to run News Corp., U.K. phone-hacking committee finds
- For Pundits, It's Better to Be Confident Than Correct
- Believe it or not, but there are good Democrats doing good things. Supposedly “fair and balanced” Fox News rarely discusses what Democrats do right, such as President Obama signing the JOBS Act or Representative Elijah Cummings blasting former IRS Commissioner Douglas Shulman who was, let's not forget, appointed by George W. Bush. Even Hitler did one thing right!
- Fox News fox Jenna Lee, stunningly beautiful but not stunningly smart, seemed mystified why President Obama isn't getting more personally involved in seeking the return of Edward Snowden. Why? Because Obama is smart! He obviously wants Snowden returned to face prosecution (as evidenced by efforts his administration is taking), but Obama once again pretends to be above the fray—this time to not antagonize the many millions of Americans who view Snowden as a hero for revealing how the federal government has been snooping on innocent citizens in violation of the United States Constitution.
- A Pretty Face Can Make A Difference In Whom You Vote For
- On the Face of It, Voting's Superficial based on Elected in 100 milliseconds: Appearance-Based Trait Inferences and Voting
- Face Value: Looks of Political Candidates Are Key Factor Influencing Low-Information Voters based on Looking the Part: Television Leads Less Informed Citizens to Vote Based on Candidates’ Appearance
- Who Will Win An Election? Snap Judgments Of Face To Gauge Competence Usually Enough
- Negative Cues From Appearance Alone Matter For Real Elections based on A neural basis for the effect of candidate appearance on election outcomes
- Better-Looking Politicians Get More Media Coverage Conclusion? Our media, including Fox News, is screwing us and destroying the country by helping hand the reins to people with better appearance, not better ideas. Better-looking pundits get more media coverage, too.
- Journalists Think We Want to See On Handsome Politicians On TV based on Why Do Better-Looking Members of Congress Receive More Television Coverage?
- Voters Favor Deep-Voiced Politicians based on Sounds like a winner: voice pitch influences perception of leadership capacity in both men and women
- The Righteous Mind: Why Good People Are Divided by Politics and Religion
- Just How Stupid Are We?: Facing the Truth About the American Voter
- The Irrational Electorate
- The Dumbest Generation: How the Digital Age Stupefies Young Americans and Jeopardizes Our Future (Or, Don't Trust Anyone Under 30)
- Idiot America: How Stupidity Became a Virtue in the Land of the Free
- The Myth of the Rational Voter: Why Democracies Choose Bad Policies
- Empire of Illusion: The End of Literacy and the Triumph of Spectacle
- The Political Brain: The Role of Emotion in Deciding the Fate of the Nation
- The End of America: Letter of Warning to a Young Patriot
- Lasting Impression: Does The Face Of A CEO Determine A Successful Company?
- What Determines a Company's Performance? Shape of the CEO's Face!
- CEOs Who Look the Part Earn More, Study Finds
- Saving Face With A Baby-Face? Shape Of CEO's Face Affects Public Perception
- Hiring Practices Influenced By Beauty
- The Fifteen Biggest Lies about the Economy: And Everything Else the Right Doesn't Want You to Know about Taxes, Jobs, and Corporate America
- The Obama Hate Machine: The Lies, Distortions, and Personal Attacks on the President—and Who Is Behind Them
- Fox News blames live airing of suicide on "severe human error"
Comment: The police chases loved by Fox News are not worthy of national/international telecast; they're just base sensationalism.
- Laura Bush getting off scot-free after killing her ex-boyfriend reminds me of how Judge Stewart McDonald sentenced 23-year-old Mitzi Nelson to 90 days in jail and loss of her cellphone for two years after she was distracted by it and struck and killed a bicyclist, 35-year-old Jill Byelich, who was the mother of two young boys. If Nelson wasn't young and attractive, would she have received such a slap on the wrist?
- Why women tend to talk more than men: Scientists have isolated a protein [Foxp2] that might help explain why some people are chatterboxes
Comment: Gee whiz, what's my Foxp2 level? :-)
- Children less likely to trust ugly people
Comment: Americans typically elect attractive politicians who are often not worthy of trust.
The endless battle between Fox News and Media Matters
Comment on the above link: My conservative girlfriend, who detests Fox News, challenged me to think of a way to destroy them—legally and ethically, of course, not prying into their personal lives and proving they're not perfect (as if anyone is). After months of pondering that on and off, I had a “Eureka!” moment that could be the death knell for Fox News. I found their Achilles' heel. To use a medical analogy, there is no way for Fox to immunize itself against this attack. In fact, the more they tried to fight back, the worse it would be for them—analogous to struggling in quicksand.
Comment on boycotts: They usually aren't sufficiently effective to achieve their objectives. A much more powerful weapon is needed, and I have it: the one alluded to above.