Wednesday, January 11, 2023

Fox News elevates cult of Scientology over Christianity

 Ava and C.I. weren't kidding in "Little Christy Toto -- Stupid and Hateful (Ava and C.I.)."  Christian Toto is an idiot.   Jerrod Carmichael did a joke about how Tom Cruise turned in his 3 Golden Globes last year and how maybe they can take them and turn them in for Shelly Miscavage.  That's the wife of the Scientology leader.  Tom is a member of the cult of Scientology.  It was a solid joke.  But Fox News has its panties in a bunch:

Fox News digital reached out to Christian Toto, a film critic who runs the website He did not find the joke as brave as some, connecting it to the success of Cruise. Toto called the choice of target "interesting," but added, "It's ironic that awards show monologues are getting safer, less willing to attack targets outside the usual suspects, like the GOP." 

"Yet Carmichael chose to savage the one star who not only shows gratitude toward movie goers but helped single-handedly bring back audiences via ‘Top Gun: Maverick,’" Toto added. 

Gratitude towards movie goers?  Single-handedly bring back audiences via Top Gun?  A cult freak like Tom Cruise -- who believes in aliens (see Battlefield Earth) and not God -- is the closet to a right-wing star that Fox and Toto can find.  So they pretend like he's normal. 

There's nothing normal about him.  He's a control freak and he's out of control.  He has a good -- and expensive -- p.r. team.  

He's a freak all around.  Go jump on Oprah's couch again, Tom.  

Christian Toto is an idiot who knows nothing.  It figures Fox News would reach out to him.

Maybe it's time for Christians to realize that Fox News elevates the cult of Scientology over Christianity?  

And the world has a right to ask where Shelly is.

Here's C.I.'s "Iraq snapshot:"

Wednesday, January 11, 2023.  Ryan Murphy speaks reality at a time when so many are silent in the face of hate merchants.

Last night, NBC aired The Golden Globes. Among the winners? Ryan Murphy who was awarded The Carol Burnett TV Achievement Award.  Murphy is a writer, director and producer whose credits include 9-1-1, 9-1-1: LONESTAR, AMERICAN HORROR STORY, GLEE, AMERICAN CRIME STORY, NIP/TUCK and RATCHED.  He and his husband David Miller are also the parents of three children.

Ryan Murphy: When I was a young person at home in the seventies watching THE CAROL BURNETT SHOW, I never, ever saw a person like me getting an award or even being a character on a TV show.  It's hard being an LGBTQ kid in America -- in fact, all over the world -- then and now.  And I have one word for you: Florida.  You are often told you will never become anything, you have to hide your life to survive.  But, for those kids watching tonight, I offer up MJ [Rodriguez] and Billy [Porter] and Niecy [Nash-Betts] and Matt [Bomer] and Jeremy [Pope] as examples of possibility.  There is a way forward, use them as your north stars.  25 years here, that's all I've ever tried to do here in Hollywood.  My mission was to take the invisible, the unloved and make them the heroes I longed to see but never did in pop culture. 


Those were important words at any time but certainly more important than ever at this time in American history where hate merchants surface constantly and argue that rendering LGBTQ+ persons invisible will help children -- what of the LGBTQ+ children?  The hate merchants don't feel their lives matter.  They've started another cultural war where they hope to use the LGBTQ+ community as a scapegoat for all the failure of the right-wing.  The economy's in the tank, "Let's go after gay people!"  Any distraction from reality, they quickly embrace. And there are lives at stake.


Two teenagers on Monday implored the Iredell-Statesville Schools Board of Education to do more to protect district students from bullying.

While sharing their experiences during the public comment period, the students detailed incidents in the schools and comments made during past school board meetings that were harmful to their mental health. 

Eli Granillo, an eighth-grader who self-identified as a member of the LGBTQ community, described being tormented by other students.

“Since sixth grade I have experienced bullying in a few ways. One, I have been shoved and pushed in the hallways for being queer,” Granillo told the board. “I was always worried someone was going to hurt me at school, where I should feel safe.”

After giving a presentation about suicide prevention at school, Granillo was subjected to derogatory name-calling by other students. On other occasions, Granillo, who is Hispanic, was called “b**ner” and “border hopper” by other students.

“I am certainly not the only minority student that is singled out for my skin color or cultural background,” the teen said. “When is it enough? How much bullying does it take to cause physical or mental injury? What is the last straw?”

Gloria Rebecca Gomez and Isabela Gamez (AZ MIRROR) report:

Across the street from the state Capitol, while lawmakers gathered in advance of the new legislative session, Arizona high school students laid out 180 black body bags in protest.

“We are trying to let our legislators know that every single step they take, bill they vote on, there is a life on the line,” said Dawn Shim, the leader of Support Equality Schools Arizona, which organized the event. 

The student-led group was formed last year to speak out against a record slate of anti-LGBTQ bills proposed by the Republican majority. Lawmakers approved several laws singling out LGBTQ students, including one that prohibits trans girls from joining sports teams that fit their gender identity and another that forces teachers to hand over all student records to parents, even if they contain sensitive personal information. 

Some of the newest bills filed this year continue the trend, with one of them restricting pronoun use in schools and another seeking to clamp down on drag show performances by taking away state funds from the schools that host them

Enacting these kinds of laws, said 17-year-old Shim, creates a hostile environment for LGBTQ youth. 

“Once we get these kinds of political ideologies in schools that (are) banning us from carrying out activities that affirm us as individuals and people, schools no longer become a safe space where kids are able to thrive and learn as they should,” she said. “Instead, they become a place where they are marginalized and don’t feel safe. That’s something that shouldn’t be happening.” 

 Kristina Davis (KXXV) reports:

Many in the LGBTQ community across Central Texas feel targeted by the new bills lawmakers considered in today's 88th legislative session.

From gender affirming care for children to classroom lessons about sexuality and even drag shows, Republican lawmakers are stepping down by filing around three dozen bills — over the last week — impacting the LGBTQ community.  

Many in the LGBTQ community across Central Texas feel targeted by the new bills lawmakers considered in today's 88th legislative session.

From gender affirming care for children to classroom lessons about sexuality and even drag shows, Republican lawmakers are stepping down by filing around three dozen bills — over the last week — impacting the LGBTQ community. 

This has left many who identify with LGBTQ in Central Texas feeling uncomfortable. Many are particularly concerned by the "Don't Say Gay Bill." HB 1155 would prohibit children from receiving instruction of sexual orientation or gender identity in public education.

“If the 'Don’t Say Gay' bill passes, what about the multiple families, with same gender parents, how is that gonna be addressed in school?” Central Texas woman Carmen Saenz said.

An advocate with Waco Pride Network added her opinion: “Imagine just the fear a student could feel if they can’t talk about the existence of their parents, or the existence of themselves. There is nothing positive to achieve here.”

John Hanna (AP) reports:

Conservative Kansas legislators are pushing back more aggressively this year on LGBTQ-rights issues than in the past two years, with proposals to ban gender-affirming care for trangender youth and restrict how public schools discuss sexual orientation and gender identity.

Top Republican lawmakers on Tuesday outlined an agenda for the year that includes culture war issues pursued by Republicans in other states, including a ban on transgender athletes in girls’ and women’s K-12, club and college sports. Their broader agenda on LGBTQ-rights issues this year in Kansas also comes after Democratic Gov. Laura Kelly narrowly won reelection in November despite GOP attacks over her vetoes of two bills restricting transgender athletes.

[. . .]

State Rep. Heather Meyer, a bisexual Kansas City-area Democrat with a transgender son, said this year, for GOP lawmakers, “It sounds like that the bigots are the priority, not our children.”

“They want to make it so that it’s like we never existed, so like the LGBTQ community is invisible,” she said.

Carly Flandro (IDAHO ED NEWS) reports:

An unruly audience volleyed insults and threats at the Caldwell School Board Monday night, forcing trustees to call the meeting to an early end. 

At the heart of the fracas was a draft of a potential policy that would establish rights and protections for all students, regardless of sexual orientation.

 Equality and democracy are flying out the window as hate merchants peddle their nasty wares and attack LGBTQ+ persons.  They want to render them invisible.  They want to deny humanity and reality.  

It is very much a war and it's very telling to see who choose to support those at risk and who chooses to hide or worse -- then the Glenn Greenwalds who, despite being gay, rush to defend hate merchants like Tucker Carlson.  People like that must have a humiliation kink.  

Reminder, US House Rep Lauren Boebert uses the term "groomers" to describe LGBTQ+ persons but not her own husband who was arrested and put on probation after exposing himself to two young women at a bowling alley.  She'll point the finger at innocent people but she'll lie about her own husband and insist this story -- despite legal records -- is not true.  

But then that's what the hate merchants have to do: Lie.  Because they don't have truth on their side.

Turning to Iraq where they are raking in billions as oil revenues in 2022 reached a four year high.  At the same time, please note, the number of Iraqis living in poverty has increased from 20% to 25%.  Corruption is the reason.  

Haifa Zangan (MEMO) notes:

After decades of war, siege and occupation, it is rare to see an Iraqi audience joyful; rare to see women and men laughing and singing happily together in a place that unites them. They breathe in the meaning of being Iraqi with bright colours far from the mourning black that has become the daily reluctant norm. It is rare. And yet, thousands of Iraqis and Arabs gathered in such a joyful atmosphere for the opening of the Gulf Cup this week as Iraq hosted the tournament for the first time since it was held in Baghdad in 1979.

The opening ceremony summed up the civilised history of the country and the unity of emotions that transcend religious sectarianism, national strife and everything else that has polluted the name of Iraq since the US-led invasion and occupation in 2003. It was a night made for visitors to the city of Basra to enjoy the hospitality of its people, who are known for their kindness and generosity. The opening of the tournament in the Basra International Stadium — also known as the Palm Trunk Stadium — was an emotional reminder for the locals, as the city was once proud of its 16 million palm trees, most of which were destroyed by wars between 1980 and 2003.

The opening was dazzling with the lighting in place. The Iraqi Electricity Company confirmed that it lit the roads leading to the Sports City, its surroundings and its doors with new lighting installations. The company also launched a campaign for the concept of rationing electricity, and the senior local officials supervised the mobilisation of the electricity company staff for the Gulf Cup on the ground.

This ensures that football fans and TV viewers have power during the tournament, but raises many questions. Why is the media making such a big issue about the preparations to provide adequate lighting? What is so unusual about lighting an international football stadium and the surrounding streets? Why isn't such supervision and provision made at all times to ensure that all of Basra has adequate electricity supplies? Is the area going to be plunged into darkness when the tournament is over?

If the government bodies responsible are able to meet FIFA's requirements for hosting the tournament, within a record time, why can't they make the same effort to provide the basic essential electricity supply needed by Iraqi citizens for the past 20 years, and which is their fundamental right, not a favour from officials? Or is this sudden appearance of good lighting only to invest looted resources in order to save face? Football has been called the world's new religion, so is the perfect vehicle for saving face while concealing the reality of the miserable daily life of most Iraqis.

Since the 2003 US-led invasion of Iraq, the country has been one of the most corrupt countries in the world.  Billions come in each year to the government and somehow never make it to the people.  Officials and politicians stuff their pockets.  Most of the time, they get away with it.  MEMO notes:

Iraqi Prime Minister Mohammed Shia Al-Sudani has issued an order to suspend the governor of Diwaniyah, Zuhair Ali Al-Shaalan, while an investigation over corruption allegations is carried out, the Iraqi News Agency has reported.

"The decision was made due to the investigative procedures on suspicions of administrative and financial corruption, which the competent courts are reviewing," confirmed the prime minister's media office.

Shaalan has not yet commented on the decision, but if found guilty he could face a maximum of seven years imprisonment. "Every public official or agent who intentionally causes damage to the funds or interests of the entity in which he works or is connected shall be punished with imprisonment for a period not exceeding seven years," explains the Iraqi Penal Code.

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