Items filtered by date: Tuesday, 20 February 2018

International sensation Fergie has apologized for her sultry, jazzy, downtempo take on the National Anthem - opening the NBA All-Star Game. If you have not heard it, you should take a two minutes and listen. Fergie took a beating on social media for her version of the Star Spangled Banner. Even stars didn’t hold back. SNL’s Leslie Jones tweeted, “Meanwhile back in the states... I leave for a couple of days and y’all lose your muthafucking mind!! Why did this happen? Not everyone supposed to do this y’all! You might as well should have ask me to sing. Wtf?!”

 

I must admit, I wasn’t a huge fan of Fergie’s version, either. But then I thought - hell, at least she took a chance. And that’s awesome, because you can’t make great art without taking chances. So, good for her. That being said - her rendition is still awkward. I’ve read that she was, perhaps, trying to emulate Marvin Gaye’s 1983 version of the Star Spangled Banner.  I just listened Gaye’s take on the Anthem. Gaye’s version is also odd and not for me.

 

I’m not really going to go into if the Star Spangled Banner is racist, or not. Much has been written about that and if you want to learn more, you are one Google search away (but verse three, which is seldom sung, is pretty racist).

 

The Star Spangled Banner has a specific musical tone. Stray too far away and people get angry. Stray really far away and people get really angry. But, again, art can never be great art unless it has the capacity to anger, or frighten people. So, at the very least, I get what she was trying to do.

 

Fergie has since apologized, saying, “I've always been honored and proud to perform the national anthem, and last night I wanted to try something special for the NBA. I'm a risk-taker artistically, but clearly this rendition didn't strike the intended tone. I love this country and honestly tried my best."

 

Her apology is also getting roasted but honestly, I’m fine with it. It’s just a song. And it was only a basketball game.

 

Though, to be honest, I actually thought Rosie O'Donnell's 1990 HATED comedic take on the song was … well, kind of funny. Not super funny. But kind of funny. And, obviously - not for everyone. She sang it at a baseball game. Her performance lampooned how fans behave during baseball games. And after all, they hired fucking Rosie O’Donnell - to sing! You know - professional comedian, satirist and performance artist Rosie O’Donnell. Honestly, what the hell were they expecting?

 

Look, all I’m saying is, I get there is a history to the Star Spangled Banner. And a tradition. And some folks want that history and tradition to be taken very, very seriously.

 

Fair enough.

 

But … it’s only a song, after all. Fergie’s version of the song was fine. So was Marvin Gaye’s. So was Rosie’s. Maybe not for everyone. Maybe not for you. Maybe not even for me.  

 

But just fine.

 

Published in News & Information

On this date 13 years ago, renowned writer and creator of “Gonzo” journalism, Hunter S. Thompson shot himself in the head because football season was over, he couldn’t walk or swim, he was always “bitchy” and had lived 17 more years than he needed or wanted to. His succinct suicide note was in keeping with Hunter’s writing style. He made dents, not first impressions.

 

The one thing Hunter could do in his old age was fire guns, and boy did he love his guns. Apparently not enough to continue living, though. He would probably have a lot to say about our constant debate on gun control in this country. Or maybe he’d have little to say, like “You can control my gun when you pry it from my cold, dead hands.”

 

I know the man a little better than that, though. In fact, I think the only fact he accepted while alive was “the best fiction is far more true than any kind of journalism.” While I never met him, I spent roughly four years of my life researching his life and works, which culminated in a Master’s professional paper entitled “How Hunter S. Thompson Built Fox News and What We Can Do About It.”

 

Hunter was my hero going into that research, but my opinion of him changed dramatically as I began to realize how much he influenced journalism of today and made it more acceptable for journalists to insert themselves as the heroes of their stories, but more importantly, editorialize the news. Journalists are telling us how to feel about the news instead of simply reporting it, and Hunter’s success is a big reason for that.

 

Hunter’s blending of fact and fiction to convey deep meaning through news is a triumphant failure with unintended, lasting effects. Hunter’s most read work, Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, was what Hunter called “a failed experiment in Gonzo journalism” because his intent was to send his publisher his notes as his final copy -- without editing. That’s what he saw as Gonzo journalism.

 

“True Gonzo reporting needs the talents of a master journalist, the eye of an artist/photographer and the heavy balls of an actor. Because the writer must be a participant in the scene, while he’s writing it—or at least taping it, or even sketching it. Or all three. Probably the closest analogy to the ideal would be a film director/producer who writes his own scripts, does his own camera work and somehow manages to film himself in action, as the protagonist or at least a main character.”

 

Now we have journalists live on the scene reacting to the news as it occurs thanks to mobile phones and the Internet -- and a lot of those journalists are really just actors. Hunter didn’t need to act. He was simply a character. The man was even more interesting than his greatest creation. He reportedly nearly drowned Bill Murray in his pool when they first met prior to Murray portraying Hunter on screen in Where the Buffalo Roam. The story goes that Hunter tied Murray to a chair and told him, “If you can get out of this, I can trust you,” and kicked the chair and actor into the pool. They became fast friends.

 

Hunter also left the heart of an elk on his neighbor’s doorstep as a birthday gift. In the morning, Jack Nicholson awoke to an entryway covered in blood.

 

By the time I finished writing my paper, Hunter was more a villain than a hero to me, and I set out to become a journalist and attempt to do the boring, objective journalism of my new hero, Edward R. Murrow, better than anyone ever had, citing vast amounts of reputable sources and changing minds with facts instead of feelings. My attempts lasted six years, and I still wrote a weekly column in the vein of Gonzo journalism, connecting sports and politics like Hunter did for ESPN’s “Page 2” -- some of my favorite work of Hunter’s. I still can’t escape that theme it seems. It’s become an addiction of mine.

 

I lived my life for a long time based on how I thought Hunter would. “What would Hunter do,” I often asked myself. “Indulge,” was most often the answer. I found myself asking the same question with regard to the gun control debate, but the answer is more complicated.

 

I don’t own a gun. I never have. I grew up firing guns, though. My grandfather on my mother’s side taught me to shoot a BB gun growing up, and he taught me well. I was one of the best shots in my hunter education class, and the first deer I shot I hit through the neck as it was running away from me. I have a pretty poor sense of distance, but I’d say the shot was between 50 and 100 yards. I haven’t hunted since that season. It’s just not for me. I didn’t feel like I was playing fair. I still enjoy a little target practice, though, which is why when I wrote about what I thought reasonable, sensible gun control looks like I didn’t include a ban on assault rifles.

 

I watched a man, teary-eyed, saw an assault rifle in half on social media yesterday because he never wants to worry about his gun taking a life, even in the hands of another gun owner. He reminded me that all these mass murderers were simply legal gun owners prior to becoming mass murderers, but I still don’t think banning assault rifles is necessary. Hunter wouldn’t either. That would surely get his blood boiling.

 

I’m sure Hunter would agree that the mentally ill shouldn’t be allowed to own guns, and while he would likely hate it, he would have a mental health evaluation conducted in order to own a gun if it was required. I’m sure he’d agree that every aspiring gun owner should have to pass a criminal background check, too. And I’m sure he’d agree that taxpayers should never have to pay the emergency room bill of an uninsured gun owner who shoots him- or herself. I’m sure he’d have no problem waiting 10 days or so to buy a gun, but he might take issue with my recommendation of raising the minimum age to own a gun to 21. He probably thinks the drinking age should be 18 again. I can see him saying, “If you're old enough to die for your country, you’re old enough to drink.” If that’s the only issue that brilliant gun nut takes with my attempt at adopting reasonable, sensible gun control policies, I’d say they should be agreeable to most every gun nut.

 

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Published in News & Information
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Allergy season may start early this year

Multiple states are reporting “early” allergy seasons.

We still have a month left of winter yet grass is sprouting, leaves are growing and flowers are blooming.  Add warmer than normal temperatures to the mix and this is the perfect recipe for an early allergy season.

Allergy season usually begins with the start of Spring in March.  Yet many may start their symptoms as early as February if they are allergic to what’s blooming.

Tree pollens start first in January and then taper off in April.  Grass pollen starts to rise in February and March.   Finally weed pollens join the party by the Spring and extend through the Summer and Fall.

Here are your questions answered:

What are allergies?

 

Allergies are the result of the immune response to a foreign particulate that our body senses.  One could be allergic to pollen, dust, dander, food, insects, mold, metals, transfused blood, grafts, medicine and anything the body senses as a foreign intruder.  Even though these may be individually harmless, a hypersensitivity reaction occurs as a result of their intrusion into the body.  IgE antibodies find the allergen (intruder) and activate mast cells in the tissue and basophils in the blood.  When these cells get activated, they release substances to help protect the body, including histamines, leukotrienes, and cytokines. These help the body attempt to sneeze and cough the allergen out, wall off the antigen, signal more antibodies, or produce tears and nasal secretions to flush it out.

What are symptoms of seasonal allergies?

 

Symptoms of allergies could include any or a combination of the following:

  • Sneezing
  • Coughing
  • Wheezing
  • Runny nose
  • Eye watering
  • Red Eyes
  • Itchy eyes
  • Itchy skin
  • Rash
  • Itchy throat
  • Fatigue
  • Congestion….. to name a few.

How do they differ from a cold?

 

Colds may have very similar symptoms to allergies. However they are different.

The common cold is caused by a virus.  When one gets infected by the virus they may feel malaise, fever, and achy. This does not occur with allergies.

Moreover, nasal secretions from allergies are usually clear. In a cold, the mucous could be thicker and with color.

The same holds true with sputum. During an allergy the cough may have little to no mucous and if so, be light colored. Thick mucus could be a sign of an infection.

An allergic sore throat will seem more dry and scratchy. A sore throat from a cold is more uncomfortable and less easy to soothe.

Allergies may persist or be cyclical. Cold symptoms will usually subside after a few days and rarely persist longer than 10 days.

Can allergies lead to a cold?

 

Yes and no. Allergies should not in and of themselves cause an infection. However they may make one more vulnerable for a virus or bacteria to take over. Hence a bronchitis, sinus infection, or pneumonia could uncommonly follow an asthma attack.

Are seasonal allergies dangerous?

 

As stated previously, if one is susceptible to colds, an allergic attack could make them vulnerable. Moreover if one suffers from asthma, an allergy attack could incite an asthma attack.  Very rarely would we see a life threatening anaphylaxis to an allergen such as pollen.

How can we prevent and treat allergies?

 

Avoiding, or decreasing exposure to the allergen is key.   We suggest the following:

  1. Be aware of your local weather and pollen counts.  If the weather begins to warm and regional vegetation is blooming, allergy season may be upon you sooner than you know.
  2. Avoid outside pollen from coming into your house.  Avoid the urge to open all the windows during Springtime as wind will bring the pollen in.
  3. Clean your air filters.  Replace air filters frequently and consider using HEPA Filters
  4. Wash off pollen from your hair and clothes before you sit on the couch or jump into bed.
  5. Close your car windows when you park.
  6. “Recirculate” the air in your car
  7. Discuss with your medical provider if you are a candidate for medications such as antihistamines, nasal corticosteroids or leukotriene antagonists.  
  8. If you suffer from respiratory illnesses or a chronic medical condition, discuss with your medical provider if you need to start your allergy medication before allergy season hits. Some of these medications may take a couple of weeks to reach therapeutic levels.

How can I find my local pollen counts?

 

Local tree, ragweed and grass pollen counts can be obtained here.

 

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Daliah Wachs is a guest contributor to GCN news. Doctor Wachs is an MD,  FAAFP and a Board Certified Family Physician.  The Dr. Daliah Show , is nationally syndicated M-F from 11:00 am - 2:00 pm and Saturday from Noon-1:00 pm (all central times) at GCN.

 

Published in News & Information

“…after the Massacre in Littleton, CO, I realized that as a member of this generation that kills without remorse, I had a duty to challenge all of my elders to explain why they have allowed things to become so bad.”  -Marcy Musgrave

Just last week, I was taking the time to speak about school shootings and the pharmaceutical companies, as well as the indoctrination taking place in public schools on my national radio broadcast.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xl9CqDiANHE

I also took the time to bring forth warnings to parents as to what their kids were and are facing and what it is that their kids are being subjected to on a 5-day a week basis in public schools.  I shared a letter to the editor from a student warning what would happen if her generation, and those upcoming, were ignored by their parents and elders.  

The following letter from college student Marcy Musgrave in the editorial section of the Dallas Morning News on Sunday, May 2, 1999.

Generation NEXT has some Questions I am a member of the upcoming generation--the one after Generation X that has yet to be given a name. So far, it appears that most people are rallying behind the idea of calling us Generation Next. I believe I know why. The older generations are hoping we will mindlessly assume our place as the "next" in line. That way, they won't have to explain why my generation has had to experience so much pain and heartache. "What heartache?" you say. "Don't you know you have grown up in a time of great prosperity?" Yeah, we know that. Believe me, it has been drilled into our heads since birth. Unfortunately, the pain and hurt I speak of can't be reconciled with money. You have tried for years to buy us happiness, but it is only temporary. Money isn't the answer, and it is time for people to begin admitting their guilt for failing my generation. I will admit that I wasn't planning to write this. I was going to tuck it away in some corner of my mind and fall victim to your whole "next" mentality.

But after the Massacre in Littleton, CO, I realize that as a member of this generation that kills without remorse, I had a duty to challenge all of my elders to explain why they have allowed things to become so bad. Let me tell you this: These questions don't represent only me but a Whole generation that is struggling to grow up and make sense of this world. We all have questions; we all want explanations. People may label us Generation Next, but we are more appropriately Generation "Why?"

"Why did most of you lie when you made the vow of 'til death do us part'?" "Why do you fool yourselves into believing that divorce really is better for the kids in the long run?" "Why do so many of you divorced parents spend more time with your new boyfriend or girlfriend than with your own children?"

"Why did you ever fall victim to the notion that kids are just as well off being raised by a complete stranger at a daycare center than by their own mother or father?" "Why do you look down on parents who decide to quit work and stay home to raise their children?" "Why does the television do the most talking at family meals?" "Why is work more important than your own family?" "Why is money regarded as more important than relationships?"

"Why is 'quality time' generally no longer than a five-to-10-minute conversation each day?" "Why do you try to make up for the lack of time you spend with us by giving us more and more material objects that we really don't need?" "Why does your work (in the form of a cell Phone, laptop computer, etc.), always come with us on vacations?"

"Why have you neglected to teach us values and morals?" "Why haven't you lived moral lives that we could model our own after?" "Why isn't religion one of the most important words in our household?" "Why do you play God when it comes to abortion?" "Why don't you have enough faith in us to teach us abstinence rather than safe sex?" "Why do you allow us to watch violent movies but expect us to maintain some type of childlike innocence?" "Why do you allow us to spend unlimited amounts of time on the Internet, but still are shocked about our knowledge of how to build bombs?" "Why are you so afraid to tell us 'no' sometimes?” "Why is it so hard for you to realize that school shootings, and other violent juvenile behavior, result from a lack of your attention more than anything else?" Call us Generation Next if you want to, but I think you will be surprised at how we will fail to fit into your neat little category. These questions should, and will, be asked of the generations that have failed us. Written by Marcy Musgrave, a junior at Texas A&M University. [YouTube Video]

It is amazing to me that another tragedy like that of the school shooting in Florida on Wednesday has to take place before people awaken to what is happening in our country today. This will, of course, last for 3 to 4 days and Americans will be diverted once again.

The sad fact is that I was refused, for a very short time by a school district in Boca Raton, Florida, not for tearing down their values and what we see in our Constitution, but for reinforcing them.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rhElcMnxrAc

Young people are illegally indoctrinated by the federal government and then these same politicians, who push for the federal government’s illegal indoctrination in public schools, are the first ones to call for gun control after a tragedy occurs.  Hopefully, people in this country do realize that a majority of school shootings are in “gun free” zones, which in itself it illegal. Funny how this does not happen in schools with armed guards.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ln56Zp22res

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q0VVh7vXiV4

Going back, Obama had illegally implemented an extensive overhaul of public education from kindergarten through high school, bypassing Congress (again), the voice of the American people, and inducing states to agree to major changes that none of his predecessors attempted.

Apparently, Barack Hussein Obama, the self-proclaimed “Constitutional Scholar,” hasn’t taken the time to read Article 10 of the Bill of Rights. The federal government has no business whatsoever in the education of American schoolchildren.

This was all done by implementing Common Core Standards in 46 states and D.C., drowning students with mostly “informational text” and historical documents.

Some of the non-fiction texts that will be implemented into school curriculum are “FedViews,” by the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco (2009) and “Executive Order 13423: Strengthening Federal Environmental, Energy, and Transportation Management,” published by the General Services Administration.

Jamie Highfill, the Arkansas 2011 middle school teacher of the year, said, “I’m struggling with this, and my students are struggling. With informational text, there isn’t that human connection that you get with literature. And the kids are shutting down. They are getting bored. I’m seeing more behavior problems in my classroom than I’ve ever seen.”

The curriculum change in public schools has been a downward spiral for many years. America has been so dumbed down that 700,000 students per year graduate without the ability to read their own diplomas.

Add to students’ confusion the innumerable amount of errors in school textbooks ranging from misinformation to omission of facts or outright lies. These “errors” can be found in virtually every subject, especially in math, science and history.

Math:

In Texas, the State Board of Education found a total of 109,263 errors in math textbooks reviewed for use in 2008 alone. Yes, I said 109,263 errors. The board had to go so far as to place a possible fine of $5,000 per error found if they were not fixed by spring of the same year.

Science:

In textbooks all across America, science (the study of creation) is well-known for being laced with the dangerous theory of evolution, which wars against Christianity, the Bible, God and His Law, which is the foundation of our republic.

History:

In Virginia, a state review committee found a slew of errors in many history textbooks. A committee of five historians caught errors ranging from the incorrect year John Rolfe married Pocahontas to quotes that do not even appear in historical records. One book illustrated Virginia soldiers in the Revolutionary War wearing red coats, when in fact they wore blue. Another textbook erroneously stated many colonial Americans were illiterate. In fact, literacy rates were extremely high.

Retired Library of Virginia historian Brent Tarter wrote in his review of one textbook, “Our Virginia,” “I also found some very significant omissions, some internal inconsistencies, and some erroneous or questionable descriptions and analyses of historical events. Some are so ludicrous and difficult to explain that I cannot understand where the misinformation came from.”

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ifnJEFRvYus

Muslim Indoctrination:

In recent years, American public schools have also been indoctrinated with the Muslim religion. Studies have shown over 500 historical errors in public school textbooks, giving an Islamic slant to our youth.

As a result, our youth are subject to the following teachings:

 Learning to become a Muslim
 Fasting for Ramadan
 Learning the five pillars of Islam
 Memorizing verses from the Quran
 Adopting a Muslim name
 Staging a Jihad (war against non-Muslims)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bw_0oXjUUEA

Resolve:

As I said, the federal government of the United States of America has no lawful authority over the education of the young.

The Tenth Amendment to the Constitution states, “The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.”

Second, the reason this is happening is that 86 percent of the American people who call themselves Christian conservatives are the ones sending their kids into public schools to be indoctrinated in a worldview they claim they despise.

Proverbs 22:6 says, “Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not depart from it.”

The Lord commanded parents to train their children in the way they should go, not the federal government.

The good news is we still have the freedom to do the right thing. These are our kids, not the federal government’s.

As a forewarning, you might want to bless this generation while you have time to do so. If you don’t, they will be there to curse you.

“The philosophy taught in the classroom in one generation will be the taught in government in the next.”

This explains what we are dealing with today. I tried to tell you.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pfxLIcLCKsw

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yr8LGLopiGw

 

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Bradlee Dean is a guest contributor to GCN news. His views and opinions, if expressed, are his own and do not reflect the views and opinions of the Genesis Communication Network. Bradlee's radio program, The Sons of Liberty broadcasts live M - Sat here at GCN. This article was originally published by Sons of Liberty Media at www.sonsoflibertyradio.com.  

 

 

Published in News & Information