Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Truth Doesn’t Matter to New Breed of Right-Wing ‘Journalists’

Charles C. Johnson

Sometimes being a political analyst means wading through the gutter to understand your enemy. I have spent a lot of time reading and watching hate mongers, like Rush Limbaugh and Ann Coulter, trying to understand their appeal. I have come to the conclusion that both Limbaugh and Coulter are shock jocks, who thrive on getting people riled up and using that outrage to sell books or get ratings. It’s a successful gimmick, all be it an ugly one. Of course both of these “entertainers,” shouldn’t be taken seriously. They are largely uninformed on the issues and their accuracy rate is abysmal. According to a study done by PolitiFact, Limbaugh had 0 true statements and almost half of his statements were rated mostly false. Unfortunately, Coulter and Limbaugh have influenced a generation of young conservatives, who grew up listening to their diatribes branding liberals as subhuman enemies of the state. I remember encountering this several years ago, when I was living in a college town. I occasionally read the college paper, which I used to work for, and I remember some strident articles written by a young conservative. In one of them, she said tolerating gay people would eventually lead to the acceptance of bestiality. This toxic stew of right-wing media has produced several “journalists” like this. These people are not objective reporters. They are propagandists, who think the media is hopelessly biased and their job is to use unscrupulous tactics, to destroy figures on the left. One of these such people is Charles C. Johnson, a figure so despised he is even shunned by the some elements of the right-wing media and has been banned from Twitter. Johnson, who Gawker branded “the web’s worst journalist,” has a multitude of journalistic sins, which is surprising because he claims to have worked for top-tier publications like the Los Angeles Times, the Wall Street Journal and National Review. Johnson is a particularly incompetent journalist, which probably explains why he currently mainly writes for his own website, Gotnews.com. He claimed to publish the name and picture of the student at the center of the Rolling Stone UVA rape story.  It turned out it was the wrong woman. According to Gawker, he also likes to publish articles that back the police in brutality cases and imply the victims deserved what happened to them. He has repeatedly tweeted President Barack Obama is gay, and also tried to smear deceased New York Times writer David Carr, by bringing up Carr’s drug use, even though this has been discussed extensively in Carr’s autobiography. Johnson's most famous gaffe was running a story claiming Democratic Sen. Bob Menendez had partied with underage hookers. The story was proven to be totally false, but not before it was picked up The Daily Caller. I don’t know why Johnson is still treated as a serious figure, even by the right-wing media. It’s also baffling how he managed to write for so many respectable publications without understanding basic journalistic rules and ethics. Johnson is a new breed of journalist raised on right-wing media, who believes they have to go for the jugular when covering a story. He doesn’t care if he destroy his left-wing opponents in the process and apparently he doesn’t seem to care if his stories are accurate. Unfortunately, he is still out there publishing and being taken seriously by some sources. I guess we can thank Coulter and Limbaugh for that. The right wing would do well to wash their hands of people like Johnson and “activists” James O’Keefe, who’s heavily-edited undercover videos caused ACORN to shut down. O’Keefe was later successfully sued by ACORN workers he had smeared in the video, where he claimed to be a pimp looking to import women. Johnson and O'Keefe are not journalists, they are hit man who use smear tactics to destroy their enemies.
Clavell Jackson is the CEO of URoast, a company that produces personalized online roasts. For more information email clavell.jackson@gmail.com or go to www.facebook.com/uroast



Thursday, February 19, 2015

Four Reasons Why Elizabeth Warren Won’t Run in 2016


I am getting tired of seeing polls and articles urging Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) to run for president. Her populist tones and criticism of Wall Street have caught the attention of progressives, who see her as a viable alternative to Hillary Clinton. But liberals need to get off the draft Warren band wagon. Warren is not running and people on the left are better off putting their time and energy into backing a candidate who actually has a chance of winning the White House.

Here are four reasons why Warren won’t be the Democratic presidential nominee in 2016.
  • She lacks political experience. Although Warren has an impressive background as a bankruptcy professor at Harvard and working with the Toxic Asset Relief Program (TARP) and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, she has little experience in elected politics. The Senate seat was the first political race she has ever run. She barely has one term in Congress’s upper chamber, and I don’t how well she would fare in the pressure cooker of a presidential race.
  • She lacks foreign policy experience. There is no doubting Warren’s experience in finance, but what does she know about international affairs? Most of her public comments have been about how the economy and political system are stacked against working Americans. That’s sounds good to most Americans, but I haven’t heard her talk about terrorism, ISIS or the myriad of other foreign policy issues facing the country. Even now, she serves on committees that deal with domestic issues. I think it would be safe to say international relations are not her forte.
  • She doesn’t want to run. Warren has repeatedly said she is not interested in running for president and I’m taking her at her word. Until she turns around and announces her campaign, all talk of her running is conjecture and can’t be taken seriously.
  • She has important work to do in the Senate. If Warren were to launch a campaign, could she also focus on the important issues she is talking about, such as student loan rates and banking reforms? The only other senator who has talked about issues affecting working families is Sen. Bernie Sanders, and he is also being mentioned as a potential candidate, although he is even more of an outside choice. Warren needs to be in the Senate fighting for American families. Although, I don’t know how much legislation she could get passed in a Republican-controlled Congress.
I like Elizabeth Warren and I think she might be a great candidate -- sometime in the future. But until she throws her hat in the ring, I prefer to work within the system with a candidate who supports my issues. If Hillary is the eventual candidate, I will campaign for her and try to force her to address issues that progressive feel are important. Warren might seem like the perfect liberal candidate, but if she isn’t actually running, it’s all pie in the sky.

Clavell Jackson is the CEO of URoast, a company that produces personalized online roasts. For more information email clavell.jackson@gmail.com or go to www.facebook.com/uroast

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Republican Policies Are Doomed to Fail


Times might look bleak for Democrats, with Republicans controlling Congress and GOP boosters, led by the notorious Koch Brothers, promising to sink up to $900 million on the 2016 presidential race. The one consolation is you can always count on Republicans to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory.

Once in power, Republicans often screw up because conservative ideas, like supply-side economics, simply don’t work. Republicans claim to be good with finances, but their policies usually blow up the budget and run up the the deficit.

We have witnessed this under Presidents Ronald Reagan and George W. Bush. Reagan tried to implement supply-side economics and slash social programs. That gave us a deficit that pushed over $3 trillion and we also saw an increasing homeless population, as social services were eliminated. George W. Bush tried the same thing. He slashed taxes on the rich and started two wars, which he failed to pay for. As Nobel prize-winning economist and New York Times columnist Paul Krugman said this has never been done in human history. Usually countries raise taxes when they go to war. Those two wars cost about $1.7 trillion, which was added to the deficit.

Republicans believe in the gospel of cutting taxes. They think flush with all additional money, the wealthy will reinvest in the economy. The only problem with that is the U.S. is a consumer economy. Spending on products like computers, cars, TVs, ect. drives the economy. People who are in a higher tax bracket don’t spend a lot of money on those products. If you give a guy worth $10 million a tax break, how many Rolls Royces will he buy? And he probably doesn’t spend much money on disposable goods like clothes and electronics. Give tax breaks to working-class people (there is no middle class anymore) and they’ll spend money to improve their homes, buy cars or products at their local stores. I have witnessed this myself. Several years ago, I got a $50 Christmas bonus. Later that evening I spent the money in Wal-Mart and saw a co-worker doing the same.

These ideas are backed up by economic scholars such as Krugman and former Labor Secretary Robert Reich. Consumer spending drives the American economy, and if working people, who spend the bulk of their incomes on consumer products, don’t have any money, the economy dries up.

Republicans know that although Americans bitch about taxes and the size of government, they actually like having well-educated children, a functioning police force, Medicare and Social Security. So they can’t totally eliminate these programs, if they want to get reelected. When elected, Republicans reduce government income and maintain government spending levels, which is a recipe for disaster.

We have seen this played out in states led by Republican governors such as Sam Brownback in Kansas, Bobby Jindal in Louisiana and Paul LePage in Maine. These states are facing huge budget shortfalls because of their governors’ policies, which slashed taxes. Brown eliminated taxes for 200,000 businesses and also reduced taxes on the wealthy. But according to Mother Jones, Brownback now has to cut $279 million from the budget by the end of the fiscal year. It’s likely these cuts are going to come from education and social services, programs that poor people count on.

Jindal’s Louisiana is facing similar problems. Think Progress states, Jindal’s tax cuts have left the state with a $1.6 billion shortfall. Jindal plans to fix the problem by cutting social programs, education and coastal restoration. Maine, led by tea party Gov. Paul LePage, is considering trying to plug its $756 million two-year deficit by raising taxes on movie tickets, cigarettes and haircuts. Increased prices on movie tickets and cigarettes will be more acutely felt by working people than high-income earners. Anyway you look at it, it’s raising taxes, one of the things the so-called tea party is supposed to be against.

I can only hope that when the gullible American voter realizes he is being screwed over by Republican policies, like trickle-down economics, he will vote Democrat. 12 years of a Republican White House gave us Bill Clinton and George W. Bush’s disastrous reign gave us Barack Obama, the first African American president.

Perhaps a Republican-led Congress, will eventually lead to Democrats in charge again. It’s too bad American voters have to learn this lesson the hard way.

Clavell Jackson is the CEO of URoast, a company that produces personalized online roasts. For more information email clavell.jackson@gmail.com or go to www.facebook.com/uroast

Thursday, February 12, 2015

10 Reasons Why I am a Freethinker


I am an agnostic--a black freethinker. That might not sound like a huge admission but, in my world, it is. Black freethinkers are as popular as gay Republicans. African Americans are the most religious of all ethnic groups in the United States, but I’ve stepped outside that norm, questioned the basic premises of faith, and decided to think for myself.

My evolution has been a gradual process. I attended Catholic church with my family from my mid teens, but was never really into it. I was never formally confirmed or fully indoctrinated. After the pedophilia scandal, I decided I could not be associated with an organization that had knowingly protected priests who were raping little boys. I stopped going to church and began calling myself an agnostic---too chicken to say there is no God. Religion, despite its undeniably good aspects, has overall been bad for humanity.

My criticism mainly focuses on Christianity, because that was the faith I was raised with. I don’t feel qualified to critique Islam, although I did take an “Intro to slam” course in college and have skimmed through the Koran. But I will say that some parts of Sharia law, practised by the terrorist group ISIS and Saudi Arabia, are barbaric and have no place in modern societies.

Here are the 10 reasons why I am a freethinker:
  1. My mind works logically. I know 1 plus 1 equals 2. So naturally, I was going to have a problem with religion. This didn’t bother me when I was younger, but as I got older and started applying a more critical view towards Bible stories, a lot of it didn’t make sense. Some Christians would argue many of the Bible stories are parables and not meant to be taken literally. However, fundamentalists believe the Bible is the inherent word of God. I have experienced some of these people up close and personal and I believe they are insane. Let’s take an analytical view of some Bible stories. A talking snake, Noah a man building an ark and cramming every known animal into it, and the animals not eating each other, a talking donkey, a man living in a whale? This doesn’t pass the smell test. That’s probably the reason why Christianity tries to get people when they are young. It’s easier to believe these fables when you’re a kid and still believe in the tooth fairy and Santa Claus.
  2. The Bible is not accurate. Freethinkers actually know a lot about Christianity and other religions. A Pew research study on religion showed atheists scored the highest. You can’t accurately critique something, if you haven’t studied it. Many freethinkers say the best way to become an atheist is to study the Bible. This is an opinion also echoed by former fundamentalist Frank Schaeffer, who said he quit the Religious Right to preserve his faith. The Bible is a collection of stories, parables, fables and “historical events” cobbled together over thousands of years. It has several authors, and it has been translated through multiple languages, revised, edited and redacted. (There are whole books that were taken out because they didn’t fit a certain world view and were deemed too controversial. ) As someone who speaks two languages, I can guarantee, when you translate words, some things get lost in translation. The term “the gospel truth” is not even accurate, because the gospel is questionable. The gospels were not written by the disciples, who were illiterate. They were written several years after their deaths by people who didn’t witness the events, so how accurate are they? Even Jesus’ name is inaccurate. His real name Yehoshua, and it became Jesus, when the Bible was translated into Greek. Apart from being inaccurate, the Bible is not a reliable historical document. One of the most famous stories in the Bible, Exodus, probably didn’t happen. Some historians argue there is no record of a mass exodus of Jews from Egypt. (The Egyptians kept pretty good records.) Also, historians say the pyramids were not built by slave labor, but skilled workers who were paid and given burials. Another pivotal story from the Bible, Herod’s slaughter of Jewish boys never happened. There was a tyrannical King Herod, but some archaeologists argue the massacre never occurred.
  3. Religion doesn’t help. Religious people like to think humans will go off the rails without religious rules and morals. Not all morality comes from religion and most freethinkers are quite moral. Morality also comes from society, and it’s often subjective. In America, marrying a 12-year-old is illegal and seen as immoral, while in some cultures it’s perfectly normal. Scandinavian countries and Japan, countries where few people practice religion, have low crime rates. The United States, on the other hand, has a high level of religiosity and has a much higher crime rate. The parts of the United States with the highest out-of-wedlock birth rates are in the Bible Belt. Nigeria, which is extremely religious, is one of the most corrupt countries on the planet. And I am not going to even get into all the wars that have been started by religion. There have been a few atheist-inspired genocides, but religion has its share. Religious wars are the worst, because people will do truly awful things in the name of God.
  4. What people call religion might be mental illness. The more I study religion, the more I wonder if religious people aren’t really mentally ill? Hearing voices, seeing visions, talking in tongues, etc. that sounds more like psychosis than religion. Pornographer Larry Flynt got religion in the ‘70s and he said he started having visions and hearing voices. He thought he was hearing the voice of God, but that went away when he got on psychiatric drugs. Another example is the tragic case of Andrea Yates, a Christian woman who killed all five of her kids because she thought she was hearing the voice of God. Yates and her husband, Rusty, were both highly religious and her husband ignored doctor’s advice when he told them not to have any more kids, because Andrea couldn’t cope. Rusty ignored the doctors and it the end result was five dead kids. Even today, some churches frown on psychiatry, which they think is the work of the devil.
  5. Religion doesn’t belong in a modern society. This is the 21st century. We have the Internet, space travel, vaccines and self-driving cars. Why are we listening like Pat Robertson and Michelle Bachmann, who claim they a speaking to a deity? And which deity is it? Yahweh, Thor, Buddha, Zeus, Olodumare? How do we know it’s the right one? Thankfully, in the Western world, we have largely done away with the idea of theocracy. But in America, some fundamentalists believe in Dominionism, a government run by Christians. I’m sorry, but when I elect an official, I want someone who is going to suggest a practical solution to a problem like global warming, not just pray. That’s like doing a rain dance to fix a drought. When Texas was afflicted by a drought Gov. Rick Perry called for prayer and it didn’t work.
  6. Christianity and racism are old friends. I see the world through the eyes of a black man. I have also studied African history. If you have done any research into the history of how Christianity was brought to African people, it is fraught with problems. Christian missionaries were the vanguard of European colonialism. The missionaries thought it was their job to save African savages and rescue them from eternal damnation. They didn’t care if they were beginning the destruction of thousands of year old cultures. For a long time, European historians didn’t think Africa had any history or culture until they arrived, which is not true. Christianity has always been steeped in racism. It started with missionaries teaching natives to believe God and Jesus were white and even went on until recently with Mormons believing that black skin was a “curse from God.” Even today, most churches depict Jesus, angels and God as Caucasian. Up until about 40 years ago, churches were segregated in America and even today some old graveyards are still segregated. (I wonder if they think heaven will be divided by race too?) As President Barack Obama said, Christians used the Bible to justify slavery, Jim Crow and segregation. I can almost see why some Black Americans rejected Christianity for Islam in the ‘60s. As far as I know, there aren’t any segregated mosques.
  7. Church is a business. Of all my points, this is the most accurate. Church in America is a tax-free enterprise and a great way to get rich. You don’t need much training, a criminal background won’t hurt you, you’re selling a product (heaven/salvation/the afterlife, whatever) which no one can verify and, most importantly, it’s tax free. A lot of big churches are operated like family businesses, where the founder hands it off to one of his children when he gets too old preach. So why do people start churches, to save souls or get rich? When some pastors are millionaires, with palatial homes, luxury cars and private jets, it makes you wonder. They even have a new concept that justifies this obscene behavior. The Prosperity Gospel believes God wants his followers to prosper in this life. The abominable Prosperity Gospel is the biggest con out there and has been condemned by theological scholars. Anyone who has studied the life of Jesus knows he was all about humility, working with the downtrodden and eschewing materialism. He explicitly commanded his followers to forgo their worldly belongings and follow him. He is the complete antithesis of the Prosperity Gospel.
  8. The church is corrupt. The pedophile priest scandal was just the tip of the iceberg. It wasn’t just the Catholic church. There also have been sex scandals in Protestant and Evangelical churches. Evangelical preacher Ted Haggard was busted with a male hooker. “Bishop” Eddie Long was accused of molesting boys and settled the cases, and almost every week you hear a new scandal about a youth pastor busted for molesting children. And with the amount of money being generated by the Prosperity Gospel, ministers are regularly busted for dipping into the cookie jar. Some of these stories are regularly documented on Pimpreacher.com. Sometimes instead of stealing from their congregations, ministers outright ask them to fund their lavish lifestyles. A few years ago, Bishop I.V. Hilliard asked for $50,000 to pay for repairs on his helicopter.
  9. Religion is intangible. It’s difficult to get a straight answer out of religious people. When asked why terrible things happen some say it’s divine retribution, and when you give them the example of a child being stillborn, they give you answers like “God moves in mysterious ways,” or “God called him home.” People can’t even come up with straight answers about the Bible. Some say it’s not meant to be taken literally, others says it’s the 100 percent accurate word of God. The problem is a lot of this is opinion. People are giving opinions about a book that was written 2,000 years ago, by a bronze-age civilization and has been rewritten multiple times. There are 1,001 interpretations. It’s no wonder there are so many denominations, all claiming to be right. Ever notice how all of these people who claim to have gone to heaven all have a different idea of what it’s like? I’m sure if you sent 10 people to Starbucks, you would get a pretty clear idea of what it looked like.
  10. Science is not compatible with religion. There is a reason why many scientists are atheists. If you study the natural world in depth, you’ll probably come to the conclusion that most of the fables you were taught in Sunday School, are just that -- fables. The Earth is not 6,000 years old. That can be proved by basic science and history. The Egyptian and Mesopotamian civilizations are both much older than 6,000 years. Also there is a plethora of fossils, which along with carbon dating, prove the Earth is millions of years old. Fundamentalist Christians have conceded to the fact dinosaurs exist. They knew they were fighting a losing battle because dinosaurs were so popular with children. So they ridiculously incorporated them into the creation myth. Now creationists argue dinosaurs were in the Garden of Eden and on Noah’s ark. The notorious Creation Museum has models of dinosaurs with saddles on their backs. This is a blatant lie. These people are just making stuff up as they are going along, and it wouldn’t be the first time religion has done this. Comparing creationism to evolution is like comparing apples to oranges. Creationism is a philosophic concept, which has not been scientifically tested. Evolution is a scientific theory. And if humans didn’t share a common ancestor with apes, why are they so genetically similar?

Religion might have some good sides to it, charity, humanitarianism and giving people a moral foundation, but you can’t argue that religion has it’s dark side, sectarianism, racism, sexism, homophobia, ect. Religion puts too much power in the hands of men. When you claim to speak for God, some people will literally do anything you say. And when you have morally flawed people given power, bad things can happen. Look at the Jonestown massacre, the Branch Davidians and ISIS. Also, I don’t see how Christians can base their lives on a document as flawed as the Bible. There are too many contradictions and inaccuracies in that document, and that’s why I choose to be a freethinker.

Monday, February 9, 2015

Obama Forces Christians to Deal With Uncomfortable Truths


It doesn’t take much to get Republicans upset about President Barack Obama. Some of them hate him so much that if extraterrestrials landed on the White House lawn, Republicans would accuse him of trying to let more illegal aliens into the country. Republicans are currently mad at the president’s recent comments about violence inspired by religion. Speaking at the National Prayer Breakfast last Thursday, Obama said terrible deeds were done in the name of Christianity, such as the Crusades, the Spanish Inquisition, slavery and Jim Crow. This was in response to people who want to accuse Islam of being a violent religion because of the actions of militant extremists such as ISIS. Predictably Republicans were foaming at the mouth with some of them accusing Obama of throwing Christianity under the bus. I think Obama was trying to point out no one would ever consider a member of the KKK a Christian, even though it considers itself a Christian organization. At one point in the early part of the 20th century, the klan actively recruited local pastors.



People of color have always had a thorny relationship with Christianity, and I’m sure Obama, whose father was Kenyan, is keenly aware of this. Christian missionaries were often the first wave of colonial invaders, who thought they were saving heathen Africans from eternal damnation. But once they converted Africans to Christianity, which featured a white God and a white Jesus, it was a lot easier to get them to submit to Europeans. There is an old African saying, “When the white man came, he had the gun in one hand and the Bible in the other.” These are the sentiments expressed by Belgian King Leopold II, who ran the Congo Free State as his personal plantation in the early part of the 20th century. Leopold encouraged brutal tactics to motivate slave labor, which included the amputation of limbs of workers who weren’t producing fast enough. Belgian exploitation of native labor cost about 10 million African lives. In his letter to missionaries, Leopold said, “Teach the Gospel to the Negroes in an African style, in order that they are kept submissive to the White colonist.” Christianity was also responsible for many atrocities in the New World. Slave owners justified the servitude of Africans, claiming it was supported by the Bible. They also claimed blacks were afflicted with “the curse of Ham” and destined to be slaves. (Mormons also believed this until 1978, when they had a convenient revelation.) In Latin America, the genocide of Native Americans was largely justified by the claim they were heathen savages. Even after America abolished slavery, Jim Crow and segregation were supported because it was believed that God meant for the races to be separated. The American Baptist church is split between the predominantly white Southern Baptist Convention and the largely black National Baptist Convention. This was caused because of a disagreement over slave owners being allowed to be ordained ministers. The Southern Baptist Convention (SBC) later apologized for being silent during the civil rights era and backing segregation. Dr. Martin Luther King said he was particularly disappointed by some of his fellow clergymen, who did nothing during the ‘60s and urged him to accept the status quo. It’s no wonder during the ‘60s and ‘70s, when many black people started questioning their identity, many of them rejected Christianity, which they saw as a “white” religion. Ironically, many black Americans embraced Islam, even though it was introduced to Africans by slavery.  However, not all black people see slavery as a bad thing. Mush-mouthed super coon, Rev. Jesse Lee Peterson once said he was thankful for slavery, because it introduced his ancestors to Christianity. Bare in mind, Peterson has made a comfortable living off making racist comments that no white person could ever say. But today, there is a growing group of black freethinkers, who reject Christianity seeing it as being too closely linked to racism and subjugation. Comedian Chris Rock once said, “A black Christian is like a black person with no memory.” Obama was trying to address Christianity’s chequered past in his speech. It’s good that we have an African-American in the White House, because I doubt if a white president would bring up this issue. I actually doubt if a white president could even understand why some black people feel aggrieved by Christianity. These are uncomfortable truths people on the right would prefer not to talk about. Discussing racial history is always going to be a prickly issue, because it makes people confront the painful past. People are often not comfortable looking back on events when their ancestors were responsible for some truly awful behavior. I think this is the reason why Republican-controlled Arizona has banned Mexican studies programs in high schools. They claim those programs make Latino children hate America. But those who ignore their past are doomed to repeat the same mistakes in the future. Christianity’s past has to be talked about and we can’t ignore the crimes committed in the name of Jesus. Some of them are still going on today with the Lord’s Resistance Army in Uganda, the anti-balaka, a Christian militia in the Central African Republic and abortion clinic bombers in the United States. Islam has it’s share of violent militants, but so does Christianity.

Clavell Jackson is the CEO of URoast, a company that produces personalized online roasts. For more information email clavell.jackson@gmail.com or go to www.facebook.com/uroast

Thursday, February 5, 2015

Stacey Dash is FOX News’ Latest Bimbo Du Jour


As I have stated before, I could write a whole book on the sins of the propaganda outlet called FOX News. However, I have to talk about Stacey Dash, who was inexplicably hired as a news commentator on FOX News last year. It’s kind of surprising that she was hired to comment on political and current events, because Dash has little background in these subjects. She is a C-list actress semi-famous for her role as Alicia Silverstone’s sidekick in the ‘90s hit “Clueless,” and a bit part as Damon Wayan’s love interest in the comedy “Mo’ Money.” She is an actress first and foremost, and, according to her bio, has zero experience in politics. Apparently, Dash voted for President Barack Obama in 2008, but publicly switched her allegiance to Mitt Romney in 2012, drawing the wrath from black people online. Actually, I think Dash’s emergence as a political commentator is a strategic career rebranding. She never really hit it big in Hollywood. She had a few small roles here and there, but was never a headliner or starred in her own show. Coming out as a Republican commentator allows her to develop a new career in conservative circles. Dennis Miller, who used to be one of the sharpest minds in comedy, has carved out a niche as a speaker and commentator in the right-wing media. Too bad he isn’t funny anymore, because I used to be a big fan of his HBO show.    Dash’s decision to market herself as a Republican has more to do with her faltering acting career. She’s almost 50 and I’m sure the roles for black women of her age are not pouring in.It won’t be long before she writes a book accusing Hollywood of ending her career after she came out as a conservative. She also fits the FOX News’ mould; pretty and not too bright. Most of the female commentators look like fashion models and are encouraged to wear short skirts to better suit FOX’s largely male audience. Although FOX News portrays itself as the backer of family values and all things conservative, they don’t mention that Dash has been divorced three times and posed for Playboy. She probably fits in well with the rest of the staff at FOX, which includes anchor Megyn Kelly, who posed in lingerie, and Bill O’Reilly who patronized hookers and was sued for sexual harassment. It doesn’t matter that Dash’s political opinions are no better than what you would hear at your neighborhood barber shop. Her views are about as informed as Ray-Ray and Tyrone from around the way. She was hired because she looks good and will repeat the same mindless blather as the rest of the FOX News fembots. And it also helps that FOX has a black face who is happy to beat up on blacks and other minorities. Writing on NewsOne, Michael Arceneaux is equally as dismissive of Dash’s political experience. He said, “Stacey Dash wouldn’t have an informed political opinion if it were sewn in to her skull. Dash has been given this platform on FOX News for two reasons: She is a Black conservative willing to articulate White patriarchal viewpoints about race and gender to the delight of her White male co-hosts. The other is that Dash is a celebrity, which once again reminds us that society’s insatiable need for all things famous has created a climate in which anyone with even a modicum of clout can step in to any arena they want to.” It didn’t take long for Dash to put her foot in her mouth. In October 2014, she accused the Democrats of encouraging a “plantation mentality” among the African-American community. And more recently, while discussing the campus rape epidemic, she said female rape victims were “bad girls” who were being “naughty.” As with many other FOX commentators, Dash was forced to make a hurried apology.


But what do you expect? Dash was not hired for her political insight. She was hired because she’s photogenic and makes old men horny. We shouldn’t be surprised when she makes brain farts like this. After all, she works for the network that employs Sarah Palin.

Clavell Jackson is the CEO of URoast, a company that produces personalized online roasts. For more information email clavell.jackson@gmail.com or go to www.facebook.com/uroast

Sunday, February 1, 2015

Republicans Finally Realize Sarah Palin Will Never Be President



After a bizarre and rambling speech at the Iowa Freedom Summit, it seems Republicans are finally realizing Sarah Palin is toxic. They are waking up to a fact that Democrats and most Americans have known for a long time -- Sarah Palin is not ready for prime time.

FOX News commentator Bill O’Reilly compared her alleged presidential candidacy as being similar to a run by Donald Trump. He said it would be nothing but a reality show. Even Weekly Standard writer Bill Kristol, who was largely responsible for Palin’s ascendancy in 2008, has abandoned her. Speaking to The Washington Post, Kristol said, “Maybe the speech Saturday was just a confirmation of her no longer being a major player, at least in these circles.”

It’s hard to believe some Republicans have supported Palin this long. Her performance in the 2008 presidential election should have shown she was not presidential material. She revealed a shocking lack of knowledge about basic history and foreign affairs. And her tortured interview with Katie Couric, where she dodged softball questions, was glaring evidence she couldn’t handle a high-level national position.

The 2008 presidential election showed Palin’s scandal-prone family would only generate tabloid headlines and they haven’t failed to disappoint. Their latest stunt was a drunken brawl at a party, which involved Bristol Palin flashing her thong.

However, after failing in 2008, Palin stayed on the national stage. She became one of a new breed of politicians, who fails to win the nomination but sticks around. There are a host of political losers, like Rick Santorum, Herman Cain and Mike Huckabee, who have failed to win a presidential nomination, but happily stay in the media. Actually, running and failing to win a presidential nomination has proven to be a lucrative business. There is really no downside to it. You get plenty of media attention, get to pimp your book and garner enough clout to negotiate a cushy TV or radio show deal. Cain may have embarrassed himself on national TV, but he became a household name. I’m sure his speaking fees and book sales went up.

Palin has emulated these losers. She has sold books, garnered a few TV shows and is a regular commentator on FOX News. She also rakes in big bucks on the speaking circuit. Palin regularly makes comments about running for higher office, which keeps her rabid followers salivating. If you don’t believe me, check out her Facebook page and you’ll find plenty of Palinites begging her to run for president. Some even think God has called her to be president. Even Cain still has his standard bearers, who believe the man who has never won an political race in his life, could be president.

Evidently, there are some people who know nothing about presidential politics. The people who backed no hopers like Palin and Cain for president, are the same people who are now backing political neophyte Dr. Ben Carson.


I never took any of Palin’s comments about running for president seriously. It was glaringly obvious that she was unqualified. Apart from that, if she was serious about running she would have terminated her relationship with FOX News. FOX News has ended contracts with commentators like former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich, when he ran for president. A network can’t have a political figure on their staff while they are running for office, and give them  free publicity. Palin’s flirtations with running were never serious, as long as she was still on the FOX payroll.

I find Sarah Palin somewhat of a mystery. I watched her fumblings during the 2008 presidential campaign and the HBO movie, “Gamechanger,” which offered a behind-the-scenes look at the McCain-Palin campaign. I wondered how she ever got to being a heartbeat away from the presidency. She doesn’t have the best educational background and before her vice presidential nod, her resume reads mayor of Wasilla, population 7,800, and governor of Alaska. However, Alaska only has about 730,000 people. And since half of the electorate doesn’t vote, Palin would have only needed about about 150,000 votes to win.

To be blunt, Sarah Palin benefited from affirmative action. Sen. John McCain nominated her because he hoped she would appeal to female voters and the conservative wing of the party, who viewed him with suspicion. Palin also benefited from the fact she is attractive. If she looked like Kathy Bates no one would give her the time of day. Political blogger Andrew Sullivan once said Republican men liked Palin because they saw her as the perfect woman. She was attractive, conservative and could hunt. Porn star Lisa Ann, who starred as Palin in the porn parody “Who’s Nailin’ Paylin,” once remarked she was shocked at how many Palin supporters she ran into in while touring the country. When Lisa Ann asked Republicans why they liked Palin, they replied simply because she was cute! Palin also benefits from being white. If she was from an ethnic minority, the Republican party would not have overlooked her lack of experience and qualifications.

But now it seems the GOP is finally done with Palin. She might have a future as a speaker and political commentator, but she will never be president. People on the left have been saying this for about six years. Why did it take Republicans so long to figure it out?
Clavell Jackson is the CEO of URoast, a company that produces personalized online roasts. For more information email clavell.jackson@gmail.com or go to www.facebook.com/uroast