-December 2, 2013-
3:00 -- Is it unethical for Rep. Tim Moffitt to publish a newspaper outling all the great things his Republican Party passed in the NC Legislature?
4:00 -- Americans don't trust each other any more. Why? Plus Art Pope and William Barber exchange words.
5:00 -- Kevin King joins us to talk about his grassroots organizing work on college campuses. Plus, Milton Friedman debates Frances Fox Piven.
-December 3, 2013
3:00 -- Pete offers NC Democratic candidate recruiters the opportunity to come on the show. They chicken out.
4:00 -- The rise of the administrative state and why budget battles will be the focal point now.
5:00 -- The Hobby Lobby lawsuit over the Affordable Care Act, plus should chimpanzees get legal "personhood" status.
-December 4, 2013
3:00 -- A coup on the Mecklenburg County Commission might make it easier for South Asheville to de-annex from the city. Plus, a Hindu guy is mad at a local brewer for naming a beer Shiva.
4:00 -- Jake Frankel from Mountain Xpress joins us to talk about the latest edition on news stands. Plus, Buncombe County Commissioners say they want to reduce the carbon footprint by 80%.
5:00 -- Kurth Schlichter, columnist at Townhall, says liberals have to lie. Plus, human cheese.
-December 5, 2013
-December 6, 2013
Outrage may be starting to ensue....
Upset Hindus have urged Asheville (North Carolina) based Asheville Brewing Co. to apologize and withdraw its Indian Pale Ale beer carrying image of Lord Shiva, calling it highly inappropriate.
This beer, named as “Shiva”, displays the image of Hindu Lord Shiva in Nataraja form.
Hindu statesman Rajan Zed, in a statement in Nevada today, said that inappropriate usage of Hindu deities or concepts or symbols for commercial or other agenda was not okay as it hurt the devotees.
Zed, who is president of Universal Society of Hinduism, stressed that Lord Shiva was highly revered in Hinduism and he was meant to be worshipped in temples or home shrines and not to be used in selling beer for mercantile greed.
Some of the other names for the Hindu god Shiva include: "The Transformer," "The Destroyer," "The Auspicious One," "The Supreme God," and "The Great God."
There's going to be a lot of offended people out there if we can't use these names, either.
Shiva is the patron saint of the arts and yoga, too, so we might need to start policing a lot more galleries and studios for offending references.
One of the characteristics of authroitarians is their immediate attainment of full-blown offended status. Usually, this is not because they suffer any personal feelings of offense, but rather they believe someone else will be offended. So, they will join in that offended-ness. They are offended by proxy.
This is the charitable view.
The cynical view is that they are not offended at all and only use the faux outrage in order to dictate the way someone may speak or act.
Indeed, you can see this exhibited by Asheville activist Barry Summers' comment on the Mountain Xpress story:
Summers basically says he has refrained from ever trying Shiva IPA because he thought it might be offensive to Hindus?
I hate IPAs and even I've tried this beer.
He states he's not Hindu, so the offense he is taking is not based on any personal slight against him. Rather, he refuses to drink a beer because the can in which it sits might be offensive to someone else.
Does Summers have a similar perspective about beers and products that utilize Christian themes and figures?
In case you're wondering if there are any beers that use Jesus....
I am so offended!
Are progressives be calling for this beer to be renamed?
Do progressives become offended (by proxy) whenever Christianity or Jesus is insulted?
They are often the ones doing it.
So, what makes the Hindu Shiva special? Why are progressives offended-by-proxy for a religion they don't follow?
Perhaps it's because most of the adherents of this religions are not white, and progressives feel the need to rise to their defense, regardless of the merits of the issue.
If you're not offended by the Jesus beer, you shouldn't be offended by the Shiva beer.
CORRECTION: The original version of this blog post speculated that Timothy Peck might be the author of the un-named articles in the Raleigh Digest as well as posts on Rep. Moffitt's campaign website. I have since learned that Mr. Peck is not the author of any of these articles. - Pete
Over the Thanksgiving holiday quite a commotion got kicked up in Asheville after the local paper arrived at peoples' homes with a 48-page insert called "The Raleigh Digest."
It features no ads inside presents a positive spin on all things concerning the Republican-controlled NC General Assembly.
After complaints from readers, the Asheville Citizen-Times published an apology, saying it should've labeled The Raleigh Digest as a "paid advertisement."
It somehow fell through the cracks.
Jason Sandford picked up the story at his Ashvegas blog. Sandford used to work at the AC-T, and noted how a lot of the printing and inserting work for the paper is now done in Greenville, SC.
End of story, right?
Because The Raleigh Digest is published by a company owned by Rep. Tim Moffitt (R-Buncombe). So, naturally, outrage has ensued.
WLOS took a look at the story:
The Raleigh Digest is published by a company called InTouchNC, which is owned by Republican State Representative Tim Moffitt. Moffitt says he doesn't write the articles, but he does pay the bills.
In the WLOS story, Moffitt says it's not paid political advertising, but is a competitor in the media marketplace.
I disagree with this assessment for two reasons.
First, the AC-T says it erred by not putting the "paid advertisement" label on the Raleigh Digest. So, obviously, one of the two parties in this endeavor believes it to be something the other does not.
Second, it seems to be supported by campaign contributions.
The Raleigh Digest is reportedly published by InTouch. This is the same company that the Raleigh News & Observer highlighted last Spring:
Moffitt said legislators would pay for the service through campaign accounts. But it wasn’t immediately clear how many legislators are paying the company for the sites.
But while I think it is political advertising, the burden to label it as such was on the AC-T before the paper allowed it to be inserted into the newspapers' distribution network.
As I stated on the Ashvegas blog:
The newspaper realizes no benefit by failing to put the disclaimer on the insert. If anything, they suffer more by NOT doing it. Look at the current public reaction.
But to conspiracy theorists, everything is evidence of the conspiracy – even a lack of evidence.
I suspect what is really at the core of the accusation is a belief that the average reader of the AC-T is stupid and won’t recognize a GOP hagiography unless it bears the disclaimer.
In many of the complaints over this I keep hearing, essentially: “Someone must tell the readers that everything in the Raleigh Digest is a lie!”
And I guess the disclaimer is supposed to do that.
Because, honestly, some folks are in massive hysterics over a very small matter.
The Moffitt-obsessed believe campaign finance violations occurred. I doubt it. Especially considering the new rules the General Assembly adopted this past session. However, I'm sure some enterprising Democrats will ask for an ethics inquiry. and maybe they'll find something.
Media publications derive whatever credibility they have based on the work they do and whether consumers find value in it. It appears some folks wanted a warning label applied to this publication to alert people that The Raleigh Digest is not a credible news outfit.
But I'm sure others would believe it is credible. Tim Moffitt sure thinks it is.
In politics, one's credibility is often closely tied to the ideology of the audience.
For example, is WLOS a credible outlet?
Or, more specifically, is the reporter who covered this story - Frank Kracher - credible? Kracher worked for the Obama campaign.
Should he disclose this association before reporting on any political story? Should he even cover politics for WLOS? Progressives would likely see him as more credible, given his experience. Conservatives would likely disagree.
Personally, I see The Raleigh Digest as nothing more than a newsletter - or a blog posting. I’ve seen them from candidates, organizations, and campaigns for a very long time.
Indeed, it’s very similar to a local elected official contributing and operating a blog. Oddly, there's not a lot of outrage over that.
No, this is not a parody OF the administration, it's a parody BY the administration that, inadvertantly, mocks the administration. Very meta.
The White House has turned the annual turkey pardoning ritual into an American Idol-esque contest.
Perhaps we could televise the final vote, put President Obama in a throne in an arena and have him give the final thumbs down for the doomed fowl.
Seriously, though, is this what our government should be doing? In a $3 trillion budget, the cost of this stupid spoof is minimal. But it's representative of hundreds of similiarly wasteful endeavors undertaken by a government that has lost sight of its legitimate function.
The stupidest part of this?
Both Popcorn and Caramel will be pardoned. Neither one of them will be slaughtered for the Thanksgiving Day feast. Not only is this bad news for un-named Turkey #3 in the queue, but it also means this contest has absolutely ZERO value.
It's not going to spare one turkey's life.
It's not going to do anything.
Come to think of it, perhaps this contest is the PERFECT symbol of government.
People get to vote on their favorite candidate - both of whom will be sent off to live the good life.
Folks cast their vote based on superficial qualities like the way the candidates sound and what is their favorite song.
But in the end, the choice is still between two turkeys.